The Council of Appeal on Health and Safety at Work deals with Appeals (complaints) against decisions of the Danish Working Environment Authority in relation to the Danish Working Environment Act.
The Council also handles complains of administrative law in relation to the hearing of parties. The chairman of the Council handles complains of administrative law in relation to access to documents including decisions related to the law.
The decisions from the Council and where to sent a Complaint?
In the System of complains Danish Working Environment Authority and the Council of Appeal on Health and Safety at Work is the only 2 tiers, and the decisions of the Council is final and binding for the Enterprices and the Workers.
A remonstrance phase has been made by the law, so that complaint of a decision are to be sent to the Danish Working Environment Authority, which then has the opportunity of changing its decision in full or in part.
If the complainant does not succeed fully in his complaint, the Danish Working Environment Authority has to send the matter to the Council of Appeal on Health and Safety at Work together with an opinion.
Composition of meetings and members of the Council
The Council of Appeal on Health and Safety at Work thus consists of a chairman and 13 Council members. 5 of the members represent employees and they are appointed by the largest trade unions. 5 members represent employers and they are appointed by the largest employers' associations, the state employers and the union of supervisors. The chairman and these ten members have voting rights, when decisions are to be made.
The remaining 3 members are technical specialists, an industrial physician, a legal adviser and a technician, who are appointed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Ministry of Justice and the Technical University of Denmark, respectively. These 3 specialists do not have voting rights when decisions are to be made.
How often do the council meet and how goes the meetings?
The Council of Appeal on Health and Safety at Work meets once every month except the month of July.
The cases are discussed by the members of the council on the basis of the written accounts that have been sent to the board members not later than one week prior to the meeting. The discussion of the Council ends in a decision which irrespective of whether it is reached by voting is worded in relation to external parties as the Council's decision without any indication of disagreement. The Council's members must observe secrecy with regard to the discussions of the Council.
Is this the final decision?
No further complaint can be made of the decisions of the Council of Appeal on Health and Safety at Work. If a complainant continues to be dissatisfied, one can turn to the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman or institute legal proceedings at the courts of law.
Who can file complaints?
Only persons or companies with a special interest in cases can file a complaint. This includes first and foremost those receiving a decision from the Danish Working Environment Authority. Those employees who are involved in the matters that the case is about can also file complaints. A supplier can complain of a decision that concerns a machine he has supplied.
Often the complainants are represented by their employers' association or trade union. These associations or unions can also be entitled to file complaints independently but they must have a special interest in the case, which could be for instance that a decision can become of importance for a larger area which the association or union in question represents.
What are the cases about?
The cases differ very considerably in nature from work with dangerous substances via the safety of machines to ergonomics. The complaints also differ widely. The complainants count many large companies but also a large number of small enterprises. Also public authorities may complain of decisions.
The general picture is that complaints reflect the campaigns of the Danish Working Environment Authority.