Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 2 2001, page 95-110.
Legal requirements for a compulsory safety organisation have been in force for 25 years in Denmark. It was expected to be an important element in the control of the working environment. However, the safety organisation has been placed as an appendix to the line organisation of the firm and it never came to be as efficient as expected in the law. A number of different approaches in research and practical developments have been proposed in order to overcome the problem. They include systematic health and safety activities, integration of the safety organisation and the works councils, focus on motivation and commitment, and education. These approaches have suggested useful methods and tools for the safety organisation which seem to improve the capacity when implemented. The problems remain, however; most firms do not choose the suggested methods and tools. They are satisfied just to comply with the law by the letter but not in practise. The various approaches do not have proper explanations for this paradox. It seems necessary in order to strengthen the position of the safety organisation to include power relations and central economic motives in the understanding.