Certain aspects of the Organisation of Working Time in connection with Offshore Oil and Gas Operations etc

Executive Order no. 1204 of 23 October 2015 issued by the Danish Working Environment Authortity - unofficial version

The following shall be laid down pursuant to sections 51(4), 55(1) and 72(1) of the Offshore Safety Act, cf. Consolidated Act no. 831 of 1 July 2015, and with authorisation pursuant to section 3(1) of Executive Order no. 1193 of 9 October 2015 on the Tasks and Powers of the Danish Working Environment Authority (Danish WEA) under the Offshore Safety Act:

Scope etc.

1.-(1) This Executive Order shall apply to employment of employees in connection with offshore oil and gas operations as defined in section 3(1), no. 16 of the Offshore Safety Act.

(2) This Executive Order shall also apply to operations in connection with an installation or connected infrastructure, cf. section 3(1), nos. 1 and 29 of the Offshore Safety Act, if the operations are covered by the Act on the Use of the Danish Subsoil and if the operations carry health and safety risks.

(3) This Executive Order shall concern work performed by the employee at the enterprise with which the employee has established a contract of employment, cf. section 4(2), regardless of who is the employer of the employee.

(4) As a minimum, employees covered by subsection (1) shall be ensured the rights that follow from this Executive Order.

2. Section 51(1) and (2) of the Offshore Safety Act on maximum average weekly working hours and daily rest periods, and sections 5 and 7 of this Executive Order shall not apply to employees with managerial functions or other employees with powers to make independent decisions in situations in which, due to the special nature of the work performed, the duration of the working time is not measured or determined in advance, or in situations in which employees can determine their own working time.

Definitions

3. For the purposes of this Executive Order

  1. "employer" shall mean: the enterprise authorised to instruct employees who carry out work;
  2. "working time" shall mean: any period during which the employee is at the employer's disposal;
  3. "rest period" shall mean: any period which is not working time;
  4. "day off" shall mean: a rest period of 24 consecutive hours ashore.
  5. "night time" shall mean: any period of not less than seven hours which includes the period between midnight and 05.00 hours. Night time runs from 22.00 hours to 05.00 hours, unless another period has been agreed;
  6. "night worker" shall mean: any employee who
    a) during night time, works at least three hours of his daily working time as a normal course; or
    b) during night time, works at least 300 hours within a 12-month period;
  7. "shift work" shall mean: any method of organising work in shifts whereby employees succeed each other at the same work stations according to a certain pattern, including a rotating pattern, and which may be continuous or discontinuous, entailing the need for employees to work at different times over a given period of days or weeks;
  8. "shift worker" shall mean: any employee whose work schedule is part of shift work;
  9. "offshore work" shall mean: work performed mainly on or from an installation or connected infrastructure and directly or indirectly in connection with offshore oil and gas operations.

Duties

4.-(1) The enterprise with which the employee has established a contract of employment shall ensure the rights of the employee pursuant to this Executive Order.

(2) If the employer is another entity than the enterprise mentioned in subsection (1), the employer shall ensure that, in the organisation of work, the enterprise mentioned in subsection (1) can meet its obligations pursuant to this Executive Order.

Days off and length of offshore work

5. For every 14 days of offshore work, and in immediate continuation of the period of offshore work, employees shall be entitled to at least three consecutive days off.

6. The length of offshore work shall not exceed 28 consecutive days.

Breaks

7.-(1) An employee with daily working time of more than six hours shall be entitled to breaks of a length appropriate to the purpose of the breaks.

(2) Collective agreements or agreements between the relevant employer and employees' association may stipulate more detailed provisions on the determination of breaks, including length and criteria for allocation.

(3) If collective agreements or other agreements do not contain provisions on breaks, breaks shall be scheduled pursuant to the general guidelines for the organisation of working time at the installation or connected infrastructure.

Length of night work

8.-(1) Night workers whose work involves special hazards or significant physical or mental strain may not, on average as calculated for a reference period of 14 days, work for more than eight hours over a 24-hour period in which they perform night work, cf. however section 14(2).

(2) Work covered by subsection (1) shall be defined in connection with the risk assessment pursuant to the Executive Order on Management of Safety and Health etc. in connection with Offshore Oil and Gas Operations, etc.

Occupational health assessment and transfer of night workers to day work

9.-(1) Employees shall be offered occupational health assessments before they start working night shifts and, subsequently, within regular time intervals of less than three years.

(2) The occupational health assessment shall be designed and implemented to prevent and control occupational diseases arising from night work.

(3) The assessment shall be performed by occupational health-care clinics or departments, including occupational health-care outpatient departments, or by other similarly qualified entities or persons.

(4) Any costs associated with the occupational health assessment pursuant to subsection (1) shall be paid by the employer. The employer shall ensure that the assessment can be performed without loss of income for the employee and, as far as possible, within working time.

10.-(1) The person or entity performing the occupational health assessments, cf. section 9(3), shall submit the results of the assessments to the Danish WEA and shall inform the assessed employee about the results. If so requested, the results shall be submitted to the employee in writing. The results may not to be passed on to the employer.

(2) The Danish WEA shall notify the enterprise if the results of the occupational health assessment give cause to implement new measures, including regular health assessments of employees or measures in connection with planning and organising work.

(3) The person or entity in charge of the assessments shall store the results of an employee's assessment, including any underlying records, for at least 40 years after the employee has ceased performing night work. Furthermore, the storage and possible disclosure of this information shall adhere to guidelines laid down by the director-general of the Danish WEA pursuant to Danish working environment regulations in which a shorter storage period may be specified.

(4) The employee may request to be made familiar with the stored information mentioned in subsection (3).

11. Night workers suffering from health problems that can be demonstrated to arise from performing work in night time shall be transferred whenever possible to day work to which they are suited.

Notification of regular use of night workers

12. Employers which employ night workers on a regular basis shall notify the Danish WEA of this upon request.

Risk management

13.-(1) Risk assessment pursuant to the Executive Order on Management of Safety and Health in connection with Offshore Oil and Gas Operations, etc. shall include an assessment of the special health and safety risks involved in night work; work organised according to a specific work rate; and health and safety risks involved in reducing the length of the daily rest period, cf. section 16. Appropriate measures shall be taken to reduce these risks to a level as low as reasonably practicable.

(2) With regard to work organised according to a specific work rate, the measures pursuant to subsection (1) shall take account of the general principle of adapting work to the worker, with a view, in particular, to alleviating monotonous work and work at a predetermined work rate and, depending on the type of activity, measures shall take account of health and safety requirements, especially with regard to breaks during working time.

Derogations

14.-(1) The daily rest period, cf. section 51(2) of the Offshore Safety Act, may be reduced to eight consecutive hours

  1. in the case of shift work operations, each time the employee changes shift and cannot take daily rest periods between the end of one shift and the start of the next;
  2. in the case of operations involving periods of work split up over the day; or
  3. in the case of operations involving the need for continuity of service or production.

(2) Section 8(1) of this Executive Order may be derogated from if the night workers affected are provided corresponding compensatory rest periods or, in rare situations, appropriate protection, cf. section 17.

15.-(1) Where the normal operation of an enterprise is being, or has been, disturbed by acts of nature, accidents or an imminent risk of accidents, breakdowns of machinery or similar unforeseeable events, the provisions of section 51(2) of the Offshore Safety Act, and of sections 5-8 of this Executive Order, may be derogated from, to the extent necessary.

(2) For employees involved in the treatment and care of people, section 51(2) of the Offshore Safety Act, and sections 6-7 of this Executive Order, may be derogated from, to the extent necessary.

(3) Derogations pursuant to subsections (1) or (2) shall be recorded in a manner which is accessible to Danish WEA.

(4) The representatives of the employees in the collaborative work established for health and safety operations at the installation, cf. section 46 of the Offshore Safety Act, shall have access to the information recorded pursuant to subsection (3) to the extent that this is significant for health and safety.

Agreements on derogations from rest periods

16.-(1) The relevant employer's and employees' organisations may agree that the daily rest period of 11 hours, cf. section 51(2) of the Offshore Safety Act, may, to a limited extent, be reduced to eight hours, cf. however subsection (13).

(2) Employers covered by an agreement pursuant to subsection (1) and employees who are not covered by an agreement pursuant to subsection (1) may agree that the daily rest period of 11 hours, cf. section 51(2) of the Offshore Safety Act, may be reduced to eight hours, to the same extent and conditions as agreed pursuant to subsection (1), cf. however subsection (13).

(3) As a precondition for establishing an agreement with an employee pursuant to subsection (2), the employee shall be following the same working time as the employees covered by the agreement pursuant to subsection (1).

(4) Agreements pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) shall be in writing.

Compensatory rest periods etc.

17.-(1) In derogation situations pursuant to sections 14-16, corresponding compensatory rest periods shall be provided.

(2) Where, in exceptional situations and for objective reasons, it is not possible to provide compensatory rest periods pursuant to subsection (1), the employees concerned shall be afforded appropriate protection.

Exemption

18. In special circumstances, the Danish WEA may make exemptions from this Executive Order if it is deemed fair and appropriate in terms of health and safety and to the extent that it is compatible with Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time.

Penalties

19.-(1) Unless a more severe penalty is due under the Offshore Safety Act or other legislation, anyone who violates sections 4-6, section 7(1), section 8(1), section 9(1), (3) and (4), section 10(1) and (3), sections 11-13, section 15(3) and (4), or section 17 shall be subject to a fine.

(2) For violation of the provisions of subsection (1), within the framework of section 71 of the Offshore Safety Act, the employer may be subject to a fine, notwithstanding the fact that the violation cannot be attributed to the employer as intentional or negligent. A condition for the individual employer being subject to a fine is that the violation can be attributed to one or more persons attached to the enterprise, or to the enterprise itself. No alternative penalty shall be stipulated in lieu of such a fine.

(3) Companies, etc. (legal persons) may incur criminal liability according to the regulations in chapter 5 of the Criminal Code.

Entry into force

20.-(1) This Executive Order shall enter into force on 1 November 2015.

(2) Executive Order no. 1509 of 15 December 2010 on certain aspects of the organisation of working time on offshore installations shall be repealed.

Danish WEA, 23 October 2015

Peter Vesterheden / Katrine Krone