Safety at work

This means that like other wage-earners, police officers have the right to consideration of their safety and health in the performance of their duties. This takes place via the legislation and cooperation between relevant bodies that regulate the area of occupational health and safety in Denmark.

Police officers have enjoyed this protection since the squatter disturbances in the beginning of the 1980s. An agreement was made at that time between the Ministry of Justice, the National Commissioner of Police, and the Police Union to involve the personnel, through the internal safety organization, in the planning of major police operations. 

In other types of employment, when an acute danger to employees’ health or safety arises in the course of a work process, work is stopped and the internal safety organisation calls in the Working Environment Authority to find out how it can be continued in a manner that takes due account of the employees’ safety. But the police cannot simply stop work in the middle of an operation to wait for the Working Environment Authority, and for that reason the Police Union is brought in to represent its members at the planning stage, and thus obtains a unique influence on safety aspects.

The management initiates and is responsible for the planning of major police operations at the strategic, tactical and operational levels. The involvement of the personnel – or more precisely, the safety representative – is strictly limited to the planning of aspects relating to safety and health.

Normally it is the individual safety representatives in a police district that are brought in, but if the task is national and huge the Union and the management have agreed to release a Union representative full-time to liaise between the management and the safety organisation.

For the more detailed planning, a negotiating and safety coordinator has been appointed in each of the 12 policedistricts, via the Union’s electorates. Contact between the Union and the coordinators is attended to by ongoing meetings, at which the coordinators will be given information about the general planning.