The question of whether Occupational Health Services (OHS) is necessary or not often comes up in discussions about HSEQ work

The Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority provides guidance, but it is not always easy to understand the regulations and decide whether BHT is relevant for your company.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the need for OHS, based on information from the Norwegian Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Who needs OHS?

According to the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority, not all businesses are obliged to have a OHS. The duty depends on:

  • Industry: Some industries, such as building and construction, have a general requirement for OHS.
  • Risk: Businesses with a high risk of occupational injuries or occupational diseases are also obliged to have OHS.
  • Number of employees: Businesses with employees, who are in an industry that requires it, are obliged to have OHS. Unless they have a dispensation. This is independent of the number of employees. Sole proprietorships, without employees, and AS where the owner is the only employee, do not need OHS.

What will BHT offer?

BHT must offer a number of services that can contribute to a better working environment, for example:

  • Mapping the working environment: OHS can assist with mapping risk factors and give advice on how to reduce risk.
  • Health examinations: OHS can offer health examinations to identify and prevent work-related health problems.
  • Advice and guidance: OHS can provide advice and guidance on the HSEQ regulations and how to implement an effective HSEQ system.
  • Training: OHS can offer training in HSEQ for both managers, safety representatives, AMU and other employees.

What are the alternatives to OHS?

If your company is not obliged to have OHS, you can choose to:

  • Establish an internal HSEQ system: Nevertheless, an agreement is entered into with an approved OHS.
  • Hiring external assistance, if necessary: The company can hire external assistance from an HSEQ consultant or a company that offers occupational health services.

What is best for your business?

There is no general recommendation as to whether OHS is best for your company. It depends on a number of factors, for example:

  • Size and industry: Small companies with low risk often do not need OHS, while large companies in risky industries often benefit greatly from OHS’s services.
  • Competence and capacity: Does the company have sufficient competence and capacity to handle the HSEQ work internally?
  • Economy: OHS can be experienced as a large expense for small businesses, but good HSEQ work reduces costs if it prevents accidents and sickness absence.


The need for company health services varies from company to company. It is important to consider the company’s size, industry, expertise, capacity and finances when deciding whether OHS is relevant.