Professionelle og medarbejderrepræsentanter - nye roller i arbejdsmiljøarbejdet

Rikke Seim, Niels Møller, Hans Jørgen Limborg

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    This paper reports from a study exploring the internal Occupational Health
    and Safety (OHS) management in Danish companies. The results indicate a tendency towards professionalization, where employees are employed specifically with the purpose to manage and coordinate Health and Safety activities. In this manner the companies are ensured access to OHS knowledge. The role as OHS professional may either supplement or, in some cases, take over from the employee-elected health and safety representatives (HS reps) and the internal health and safety organization. The interviewed OHS professionals
    had different approaches to their work, thereby representing different directions in the corporate work environment. In this article we examine what characterized the different approaches to the role of the OHS professional. We focus pecifically on the relationship between the role of OHS professional and the elected HS reps. We introduce three different approaches to the role of OHS professional – ‘the system builder’, ‘the process oriented’ and ‘the operations oriented’ OHS professional. These three approaches represent fundamentally different understandings of the role of the employee-elected HS reps and the OHS committees, which the Danish OSH legislation requires the company to implement. Both ‘the system building’ and ‘the operations oriented’ OHS professional have a tendency to monopolise all the OHS activities leaving the role of employee elected HS rep as an empty formality without powers or duties associated with OHS management, thereby removing initiative and commitment from the HS reps.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTidsskrift for Arbejdsliv
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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