Guidelines for facilitation and cooperation between line managers and safety representatives
Approved by the University Director on 17/06/2021
The University of Bergen (UiB) wants to ensure good cooperation between line managers and safety representatives. This is done by setting aside sufficient time at all levels to carry out the safety representative role in a prudent manner. Regular meetings between safety representatives and line managers will facilitate active cooperation between line managers and safety representatives in the systematic health, safety and environment (HSE) work at UiB.
2. Legal basis
The guidelines are part of UiB’s Rules and Regulations (Part 3 Personnel and HSE) and are underpinned by HSE legislation.
The guidelines include the entire University, all levels and units at the University.
The line manager is responsible for implementing and following up the guidelines.
Line manager: University Director, Faculty Director, Department Director or appointed Dean and Head of Department
Safety representative: the University’s chief safety representative (UCSR), the chief safety representative (CSR) and safety representative (SR)
Deputy safety representative: Deputy UCSR, deputy CSR, deputy SR.
Safety representatives at UiB must complete 40 hours of basic HSE training, cf. Regulations concerning Organisation, Management and Employee Participation section 3-18.
7. Facilitation and cooperation
Within his/her area of responsibility, the line manager must:
Ensure facilitation and cooperation between the line manager and safety representative.
Follow up any coordination agreements with other employers, cf. the Internal Control Regulations section 6.
Ensure that the safety representative has sufficient HSE expertise to function in the position.
Within their area of responsibility, safety representatives shall:
Be familiar with the guidelines.
Ensure that the employer fulfils its responsibilities pursuant to regulatory requirements and the University’s internal rules.
Participate in the planning and implementation of the systematic HSE work.
In addition, the safety representative must be familiar with the provisions concerning the safety representative’s duty of secrecy (cf. the Regulations concerning Organisation, Management and Employee Participation section 3-17).
Within their area of responsibility, deputy safety representatives shall:
Be familiar with the guidelines and be able to step in if the safety representative is prevented from performing his/her duties. In those situations where the deputy safety representative assumes responsibility, the same rules apply to the deputy safety representative as for the safety representative.
Be invited to participate in meetings.
UCSR and CSR are also responsible for coordinating the safety representatives’ activities within their occupational health and safety areas, cf. the Working Environment Act section 6-1 (3), and the Regulations concerning Organisation, Management and Employee Participation section 3-5.
Regular meetings between line management and safety services
The line manager must ensure and facilitate regular meetings between the safety representative and line manager. Safety representatives, deputy safety representatives and line managers must meet at least every three months. Minutes must be kept in meetings between the line manager and safety representative.
The line manager and safety representative must also plan, implement and follow up HSE inspections, HSE meetings and conduct annual HSE reporting cf. Guidelines for annual review of the systematic health, environment and safety work (internal control).
The regular meetings between the line manager and safety representative must facilitate good dialogue and exchange of information on the working environment situation of the area in question. If special circumstances arise between the regular meetings that may affect the working environment, the line manager must summon a meeting as soon as possible.
The chief safety representatives take part in the management’s review of the annual HSE report for the various main occupational health and safety areas.
Time to perform the duties of safety representative
The line manager and safety representative shall ensure that the safety representative is afforded sufficient time to perform his/her duties. The parties must jointly consider any consequences the position may have for the safety representative’s ordinary tasks and consider specific solutions. This should be done at the beginning of the safety representative period.
Just as SR, CSR must be given sufficient time to perform his/her duties. For CSR partial release from his/her ordinary duties is appropriate, where the scope of release may vary according to the size of and activities at the unit. UCSR at UiB has 100% release from duties, and for deputy UCSR there is partial release.
If unexpected circumstances arise that entail that safety representative work must be carried out beyond ordinary work hours pursuant to the Working Environment Act section 10-4, it shall be compensated as overtime, cf. the Working Environment Act section 6-5 (3). If unexpected circumstances arise that require action on the part of the safety representative, the safety representative is entitled to leave the workplace. If this happens, the safety representative must inform the line manager.
7.3 The occupational health and safety service
Regular meetings in the occupational health and safety service
The following meetings between the University’s safety representatives are established:
UCSR and CSR: Monthly.
UCSR, CSR and SR: Takes place at the regular SR gatherings that are organised in the spring, and the competency day that is organised in the autumn for all safety representatives at UiB
CSR and SR: Monthly.
The safety representative must attend the following committee at UiB:
The Working Environment Committee (WEC): UCSR is a member.
The Negotiation Committee: UCSR attends when there are plans regarding rationalisation (restructuring) and questions related to working hour schemes cf. the University’s adjustment agreement to the General Agreement for State Employees, chapter 5.
Information and discussion committee (IDC): CSR attends when there are plans regarding rationalisation (restructuring) and questions related to working hour schemes cf. the University’s adjustment agreement to the General Agreement for State Employees, chapter 5.
HSE committee: the safety representative at the closest level attends.
Facilitation and cooperation between the line manager and safety representative must be evaluated annually as a part of the Guideline for annual review of the systematic health, safety and environment work (internal control).