HSE Policy

Systematic and continuous HSE work is essential to create a good, safe working environment, and the units' work is guided by NTNU's HSE policy.

Norsk versjon: HMS-politikk

This is one of two pages about NTNU's formal HSE policy: 

1. HSE policy | 2. HSE – Systematic work  | Subject page about HSE

HSE policy

1. Purpose

The HSE policy should contribute to a safe working environment for all employees and students at NTNU. The policy should support NTNU’s strategy and be normative for NTNU’s systematic HSE work on all levels. Through high quality HSE work and care for the environment, the HSE policy will contribute to the realisation of NTNU's vision.

2. Valid for

The policy applies to all establishments and organisational units.

3. Important terms and definitions

HSE: Health, safety and environment

Line manager Managers with HR responsibilities (deputy rectors, pro-rectors, directors, heads of department/section, deans, museum directors, associate professors).

HSE responsibility: All managers are responsible for adequate HSE work. A manager’s HSE responsibility cannot be delegated. However, the Rector and the Board have the overall responsibility for HSE at NTNU. People with HR responsibility are not the only ones who are responsible for HSE; this also applies to people who are tasked with leading or controlling others.

HSE tasks: Tasks related to the systematic HSE work, e.g. planning and performance of risk assessments, HSE training, HSE processes, follow-up on HSE nonconformities etc. HSE tasks and the responsibility for completing them may be delegated from the line manager to other employees (the tasks should be included in the job description).

4. General provisions

The HSE work must be carried out within the frameworks and provisions in legislation, regulations and NTNU’s strategy. Some important provisions are:

The Working Environment Act and the Internal Control Regulation

NTNU's systematic HSE work is based on the requirements of the Working Environment Act about providing all employees with a completely safe working environment. The requirements for NTNU’s systematic HSE work is provided in the regulation of systematic health, safety and environment work in establishments (the Internal Control Regulation).


  • The line manager and the employees should contribute together to create a healthy and safe working environment
  • Systematic HSE work should be an integrated part of all activities at NTNU.
  • HSE work should be based on transparency and partaking
  • HSE related matters should be solved on the lowest possible level
  • The line manager has the HSE responsibility at their unit, a responsibility they may not leave to others
  • The line manger may delegate HSE tasks to others
  • The safety deputy should cooperate with the line manager
  • Occupational Health Services should be involved in the HSE work

5. Responsibilities, roles and tasks

Faculties, departments and University Administration units have the HSE responsibility for their own employees and others who perform work in their facilities, cf. the Working Environment Act §§ 2-1 and 2-2. The HSE responsibility involves making sure that the employees have a completely safe working environment, for instance by:

  • Mapping the working environment, including risk assessments
  • Training
  • Involving the safety deputy and Occupational Health Services
  • Supervising the working environment
  • Adequate resources

All managers have HSE responsibility, see illustration 1. (Students should refer to the Student chapter). People with HSE responsibility, as well as the safety deputies, should keep a continuous dialogue regarding HSE matters. The most important task of the safety deputies is to look after the employees' interests. The safety deputy should contribute to making sure that measures are carried out as planned, and that the systematic HSE work at the unit works well. The safety deputy is an important help for the manager.

Illustration HMS-modell, resposibilities and roles.

The Board

The Board passes the general goals, strategies and plans for HSE work and makes sure that these are followed up. The Board keeps supervision of this through the Annual HSE Report. The Board must make sure that adequate resources are allocated to follow up the goals, strategies and plans that are put in place.

The Rector

The Rector is responsible for ensuring a completely safe working environment at NTNU. The Rector must ensure that systematic HSE work is established, developed and maintained, to make sure it meets the requirements in the Internal Control Regulation. The Rector passes the HSE policy. The Rector must ensure that the units receive the necessary training and assistance, present to the Board an annual report about the HSE situation at NTNU, and ensure that measures are taken to reach the goals set for the HSE work. The Rector should assess whether it is necessary to change NTNU's HSE system, using the annual review. The Rector can delegate HSE tasks to subordinate units.

Deputy Rectors

The Deputy Rectors at NTNU Gjøvik and Ålesund have a coordinating responsibilities at their campuses, and should if necessary contribute to finding good solutions where different units have common HSE challenges. The Deputy Rectors are permanent members of the local working environment committee (SAMU), and should communicate with the local senior safety representatives (SLHVO).

Line manager

The line manager is responsible for the HSE work within their own fields of responsibility and work.

The line manager must:

  • ensure a completely safe working environment
  • be familiar with legislation, regulations, HSE guidelines and other requirements applicable for the unit
  • regularly put HSE on the agenda for their management meetings
  • involve the safety deputy (VO) and Occupational Health Services (BHT) in the HSE work
  • secure a completely safe working environment based on mapping of hazardous activities and risk assessments
  • ,make sure that adequate resources are allocated to HSE work
  • ensure that the employees are familiar with central and local guidelines, and that these are complied with
  • ensure that the employees have adequate knowledge and skills in systematic HSE work, and that any necessary training is provided
  • make sure to identify HSE challenges , prepare plans of action and follow up the HSE work.

If HSE tasks are delegated, for instance to the HSE adviser/coordinator, the line manager must make sure to receive regular updates. Delegation of HSE tasks must be documented in writing. If nothing else is documented, the line managers should perform the HSE tasks themselves.

If the unit has activities in the same facilities as other establishments, the line manager must make sure to prepare coordination agreements to define and distribute HSE responsibilities.

The line manager is responsible that students who perform work as part of practical training in conditions that might cause danger to their life and health, are treated as employees with regard to the Working Environment Act (ch. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 18 and 19, excluding § 19-2).

Person responsible for leading or supervising others

Employees and students who are responsible for leading or supervising other employees and/or students during work in the field, laboratories or workshops, have HSE responsibility and must:

  • ensure that security and health is properly considered during planning and performance of the work, cf. the Working Environment Act § 2-3, third paragraph
  • check that the activities are performed in accordance with regulations, cf. the Internal Control Regulation § 5

The HSE responsibility is not just tied to HR responsibilities. For instance are also laboratory managers, room managers, laboratory engineers, laboratory assistants and student assistants responsible for HSE when they lead or supervise other employees or students during laboratory work and experiments, workshop or field work.

Tasks delegated by the Rector

Directors of HR and HSE


  • Communicate current issues with HSE, safety and emergency preparedness to the organization's director
  • Continuous development of NTNU’s HR policy
  • Processing complaints on university level related to unacceptable behaviour, victimisation and conflicts
  • Processing reports on university level of criticisable conditions at NTNU

Head of HSE Section


  • Development, maintenance and follow-up of NTNU's HSE system, incl. preventive fire protection
  • Making sure NTNU has an adequate safety and emergency preparedness system
  • Assisting in matters of the working environment, safety and emergency preparedness
  • Reporting to the Working Environment Committee (AMU) and the Board
  • Assisting the management in their annual review and preparation of the Annual HSE Report

Finance and Property Director


  • Overall plans for maintenance and development of NTNU buildings
  • Prioritising larger HSE nonconformities related to NTNU buildings
  • Coordinating and developing NTNU’s plan for environmental development

Head of Campus Services


  • Follow up the HSE requirements for operation and maintenance of NTNU-owned buildings and outdoor areas during the daily operations and small maintenance projects
  • Follow up the HSE requirements in rented buildings in accordance with the rental agreement and the coordination agreement for fire prevention between NTNU and the owner of the building
  • Access control and building security.

6. Other roles and tasks in HSE work

HSE adviser/coordinator

The HSE adviser/coordinator is responsible for performing tasks delegated from the line manager. The HSE adviser/coordinator should report to the line manager and keep them informed about important conditions related to HSE work. The tasks must be agreed in writing between the HSE adviser/coordinator and the line manager.

Possible tasks:

  • Contributing to putting HSE on the unit’s agenda
  • Keeping track of the HSE guidelines that apply to the unit, making sure that these are made known and provide suggestions to the line manager if the HSE guidelines are insufficient
  • Participation and assistance in risk assessments
  • Participation in the HSE processes Participation in local HSE committees/forums For faculty HSE coordinators: Local working environment committee (LAMU) if applicable
  • Participation in the central HSE forum
  • Participation i the safety and emergency preparedness network
  • Ensure communication with the safety deputies on the applicable level
  • Other tasks may be agreed

Radiation protection coordinator

The tasks of the radiation protection coordinator are agreed with the line manager in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulation and NTNU's organization of radiation protection. For more information, see Radiation protection – responsibility and task delegation.

Normally, the radiation protection coordinator is employed in another position at the unit, and spends as much time as necessary working with radiation protection. The radiation protection coordinator should keep the line manager informed about important matters related to the radiation protection work.

Substance index contact person

The substance index contact person is responsible for updating the NTNU substance index and keeping it current. The substance index contact person should make sure that safety data sheets / information sheets are entered in the correct locations, that the necessary information is registered and that risk assessments are carried out when new chemicals / biological factors are purchased/created. See also:


Everyone who performs work for NTNU is considered an employee, cf. the Working Environment Act § 1-8. Student assistants, apprentices and PhD Candidates with employment agreements are considered as employees. If there is any doubt as to whether NTNU is the employer of an employee, this should be clarified in each case with a written agreement about any employer responsibilities. The provisions of the Working Environment Act regarding duty of participation applies to all NTNU employees, cf. the Working Environment Act § 2-3.


Students are obligated to follow the HSE guidelines applicable to NTNU. Work performed as practical training of students, for the purpose of education or research, is subject to the provisions of the Working Environment Act when the work takes place in conditions that might cause danger to life and health. This applies, for instance, when the education includes the use of machinery or substances/chemicals that might cause danger to life and health. In these cases, the students' rights and obligations in terms of systematic HSE work are the same as for employees, cf. the regulation of the application of the Working Environment Act for persons who are not employees, § 1.

Students who receive supervised professional training in an establishment are considered as employees of that establishment. This means that they are subject to the rights and obligations of the Working Environment Act, cf. the regulation of the application of the Working Environment Act for persons who are not employees, § 5. Students must follow the HSE provisions for the applicable establishment.

The provisions of the Working Environment Act do not apply to students during study activities. The University and University College Act § 4-3, provides a description of how the students' physical working environment should be developed. Contact the The Academic Administration for more information.

The safety deputy line

The safety deputy line at NTNU consists of the safety deputy (VO), local senior safety representatives (LVHO) and deputy senior safety representatives (SLHVO) in Gjøvik and Ålesund, as well as one senior safety representative (HVO).

The central HSE principles also apply to the safety deputy line; matters should be resolved at the lowest possible level. If a matter cannot be resolved on the lowest level, it should be brought to the local/deputy senior safety representative and the Dean/Director, and possibly to the senior safety representative and the Rector (see illustration 1).

Substitutes for safety deputy, local senior safety representatives and the deputy senior safety representatives are responsible for take care of these functions in case of absences.

See the detailed descriptions here:

Faculty student representatives

The faculty student representative will represent the students in all faculty bodies dealing with the educational provision and learning environment (in Norwegian).

Department student representatives

The department student representative is part of all department bodies dealing with the educational provision and learning environment (in Norwegian]

7. Applicable committees, forums and organizations

This contains a description of the forums, committees and organisations at NTNU that process matters important to HSE.

Occupational Health Services (BHT)

NTNU's Occupational Health Services (BHT) is part of the HSE Section. Occupational Health Services at NTNU is approved by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. NTNU has an agreement with local, external Occupational Health Services in Gjøvik and Ålesund. The Occupational Health Services have a free and independent position in working environment matters.

More information:

The Working Environment Committee (AMU)

The Working Environment Committee participates in planning and organization of the HSE work and deals with HSE matters at NTNU. If the Working Environment Committee deems it necessary, it can also initiate measures to protect the safety and health of employees. There are local working environment committees (SAMU) in Gjøvik and Ålesund.

You can find additional information about working environment committees here:

The central HSE forum

The central HSE forum is responsible for maintaining a good information flow throughout the organisation.

The participants are:

  • Head of HSE Section
  • HSE adviser/coordinator from all faculties, the University Museum, NTNU Gjøvik, NTNU Ålesund, the Rector’s staffs and organization
  • The central HSE forum cannot make any decisions, but the heads of HR and HSE sections can bring matters before the organization's director or the Working Environment Committee (AMU) for further processing.

The Learning Environment Committee (LMU)

The Learning Environment Committee (in Norwegian) is an advisory committee for the NTNU Board and should contribute to a safe learning environment for students at NTNU. The Learning Environment Committee performs this task by participating in the planning of measures regarding the learning environment, and by following the development in matters concerning the safety and welfare of the students. The Learning Environment Committee delivers an annual report to the Board concerning NTNU's learning environment work. The students and NTNU each have four members in the committee. See also the University and University College Act § 4-3.

The LMU has subcommittees at NTNU Gjøvik and NTNU Ålesund.

IDF SESAM (The Central Works Council)

Through the Government's General Agreement and NTNU's agreement for accommodation of the General Agreement, the management and employee organizations have determined how participation should be carried out at NTNU based on applicable legislation and agreements. Through the accommodation agreement, the parties have established works councils as permanent bodies for employee representative participation in decisions related to the working situation of employees. In the Central Works Council, the Rector and the employee representatives deal with decisions that concern NTNU as a whole or employees at several units.

IDF LOSAM (The Local Works Council)

To ensure participation at the unit level, the parties have established a local works council where the unit's Dean/Director and employee representatives make decisions concerning the unit's employees. The local works council (in Norwegian) should take care of information activities, discussions and negotiations regarding matters concerning the unit.

Local participation at NTNU Gjøvik and NTNU Ålesund is secured by the GSAM and ÅSAM works councils, lead by the Deputy Rector.

See also:

Employee organizations

The employee representative system is based on a collective agreement or general agreement, and is not directly governed by law. The main unions at NTNU are YS-Stat, Akademikerne, Unio and LO-Stat. The employee representatives in the employee organizations assist their members in matters regarding contracts, wage terms and working conditions, and provide advice and help with everything related to the employees' working situation. The employee representatives and safety deputy can cooperate in HSE related matters.

See also:



Approved by the HSE Head of Section – 14 February 2020 – HMSR63

Updated 25.08.2020

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