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The Function of the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health


The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health is the center of occupational safety and health work in Iceland. Its function is to ensure that everyone comes home from work safe and sound.


The AOSH’s main goal is to promote a safe and healthy work environment with an emphasis on prevention and monitoring of the work environment, heavy machinery and equipment. The AOSH also provides education on occupational safety and health, the active implementation of safety corporate culture in the workplace and the implementation of purposeful methods in occupational safety management.

Occupational Safety and Health Inspections

AOSH employees visit workplaces to monitor compliance with occupational safety and health laws and regulations. Emphasis is placed on the main risk factors in the work environment. These include the working conditions, chemical agents, safety of machinery and equipment, physical factors, psychosocial risk factors and risk factors related to the motor and musculoskeletal system. Emphasis is placed on the importance of prevention and the implementation of safety corporate culture, as well as comments on deviations when appropriate and instructions on necessary improvements.

Machine Inspections

The AOSH monitors the compliance of heavy machinery and equipment with the safety requirements required by law and regulations. The inspection examines various safety equipment such as brakes, steering equipment, controls, work lights, load-bearing structures and more.

Market Surveillance of Machinery and Equipment

The AOSH monitors that machinery and equipment comply with the relevant legislation and standards that apply to them in the common market within the European Economic Area. The AOSH examines whether CE markings have been affixed to machinery and equipment and extends the inspection to the equipment that is in the workplace but also to what has been placed on the market for consumers and fall under the Directive on Machinery. The monitoring is intended to promote the safety of employees in the workplace as well as the safety of general consumers.

Education and Prevention

The AOSH holds courses, workplace meetings and lectures on occupational safety and health. These include courses on risk assessment and courses on occupational safety management for safety representatives and safety officers, employees and company managers. The AOSH also holds various types of heavy machinery courses, certifications courses and courses on chemicals and chemical agents, to name a few. AOSH’s employees also provide guidance on various issues related to occupational safety and health. In addition, the AOSH annually initiates or participates in various types of domestic and foreign projects in the field of occupational safety and health.

Registration and Data Collection

The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health maintains a register of all heavy machinery and equipment that the AOSH has been entrusted with monitoring in accordance with laws and regulations. The AOSH also manages all theoretical and practical machinery certifications of individuals. The AOSH also maintains a register of notifiable accidents at work, poisonings and occupational diseases in order to strengthen preventive work so that similar incidents can be prevented from recurring.

Measurements and Testing

The AOSH performs measurements of noise, pollution and air quality as well as tests of various machines and equipment. For example on heavy machinery, equipment and pressurized equipment.


The AOSH provides reviews of drawings for new and/or altered commercial premises and thus is involved in the granting of municipal operating licenses. The AOSH also provides comments on the issuance of operating licenses for restaurants and accommodation to the relevant district commissioners’ offices.



The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health participates in research in the field of occupational safety and health.

Major Accident Control

The AOSH monitors the implementation of the regulation on control of major accidents (Seveso). The regulation covers companies that store and/or use large amounts of hazardous substances that can cause significant fires, explosions or pollution if full safety is not maintained. There is a special statutory consultation committee on major accident control, which includes representatives of the Housing and Civil Engineering Agency, the Environment Agency, the National Commissioner of Police and the AOSH, and the representative of the AOSH is also the chairman of the committee.