Foreign contractors, companies and employees

The role of the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (AOSH) is to promote safe and healthy working environment at all time consistent with social progress and the best knowledge at the time. Special emphasis is placed on promoting systematic health and safety efforts at the workplace itself. The vision of AOSH is that Iceland will be among the countries with the lowest frequency of industrial accidents and occupational diseases in the world reduce. AOSH is the center of occupational health and safety in Iceland and bases its activities on the integration of the three pillars, monitoring, education and research.

  1. Application for use of foreign industrial machinery certificate for cranes, forklifts and earth-moving machinery in Iceland
  2. Workplace Surveillance
  3. Risk Assessment for workplaces
  4. Course for safety representatives and safety managers
  5. Notification and registration of accidents at work

1. Application for use of foreign industrial machinery certificate for cranes, forklifts and earth-moving machinery in Iceland

Residents within the European Economic Area (EEA) have the right to get a machine certificate approved from EEA member states in Iceland according to the law no. 26/2010 on the recognition of professional qualifications to work in Iceland. Application form must be returned to AOSH, “Vinnueftirlitið, Dvergshöfða 2, 110 Reykjavik ICELAND” or by e-mail to .

The following documentation must accompany the application:

  1. What type of machinery certificate do you want to have approved (fill out p. 2 application)
  2. A copy of the driving license
  3. A copy of the foreign industrial machinery certificate
  4. Data on the number of hours of theoretical and practical teaching of foreign rights.
  5. All documents must be translated into Icelandic or English for all languages except Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.
  6. When applying for a crane rights, for categories A, B, D and P you need medical certificate.

Medical Certificate for Crane Operator License

To receive a crane operator licence in classes: A, B, D, and P, the candidate must provide a medical certificate which corresponds with the certificate to obtain a driving licence.

If the applicant has received a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) within the last 12 months, then it is permissible to refer to that certificate.

Medical Certificate:

  • Vision: ≥ 0.8 in the better eye and ≥ 0.1 in the worse eye
  • Visual Range: Normal
  • Hearing: Normal
  • Limbs: Normal and unimpaired

It should also include that:

The applicant is in good general health and has no disease.

The applicant is not taking any medicine or drugs that interfere with his judgement or can cause sudden loss of consciousness.

The medical certificate must not be older than six months.

Qualification courses for heavy machinery

To gain permission to drive heavy machinery in Iceland you must be not less than 17 years old, have a driver's license and have completed the required education and training. The qualification course will end with an academic degree granting the right to start practical training under the supervision of teachers. After the practical training is carried out you must take practical tests in the workplace. Contact the Administration of Occupational Health and Safety (AOSH ) fill out an examination form and reserve examiner. Upon completion of the practical examination you must apply for machinery certificate conferring the right to control the identified machinery. 

Registration of heavy machinery

Before heavy machinery, that rules on the registration and inspection of mobile working machines no.388/1989 cover, is put into use in Iceland it must be registered by AOSH. To register heavy machinery in Iceland you must have an Icelandic Tax Identity Number (TIN)

Machinery Inspections

Machines should be inspected annually. In addition, they must be examined before and after major repairs and changes in structures.

Prices for machinery inspections

Fee for machinery inspections is determined AOSH tariff, gjaldskrá Vinnueftirlits ríkisins nr. 572/2001 executive order no. 572/2001.

2. Workplace Surveillance

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure safe and healthy working conditions in accordance with Act no. 46/1980 on Working Environment, health and safety in workplaces. The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (AOSH) monitor working conditions in workplaces to follow up on Act no. 46/1980 and regulations issued by them.

AOSH inspectors visit workplaces to monitor that working conditions are safe and healthy. Inspection visits, covers the items to be filled with managers and employees, for example the working environment, work organization, execution of the work and effectiveness of safety efforts. Emphasis is placed on general instructions, answering questions and discuss issues that regards prescriptions given by AOSH inspectors.

Monitoring Methods vary depending on the occasion:

A comprehensive monitoring of working conditions

  • Structure of safety efforts and working environment is examined comprehensively according to work environment guidelines facing the profession concerned. The frequency of visits varies according to risk occupations and the workplaces performances in safety.
  • AOSH inspectors always inspect whether the company has made a written plan for health and safety or Risk Assessment to ensure the safety and health of workers, and whether employees have received appropriate education and training in occupational safety and health.
  • The monitoring visit is usually heralded beforehand and met with senior management, safety representatives and safety managers. In small companies is discussed with management and employees.
  • Monitoring visits of construction workplaces are not announced in advance.

Limited Monitoring

  • Specialized subjects examined, for example, work accidents, special emphasis in supervision or due to a complaint. If complaint is the case the AOSH inspectors it is not allowed to let the employer know why the inspection is carried out.

Monitoring Campaign

  • Special monitoring campaigns are made to enforce the policies and objectives of AOSH. They focus on a particular sector or risk factors at work that are considered to create the greatest health risk or work accidents.


If working conditions discovered in inspection are such that the life or health of employees is under threat, AOSH will prohibit work, close activities partially or altogether. If conditions do not comply with rules and regulations, AOSH gives orders for improvements with time limits. After the inspection visit, AOSH will send an inspection report with results of visit to the employer. The employer shall send notice of improvements to the AOSH Inspectorate before the time limit has expired.


If AOSH does not receive notice of the corrective action in spite of reminders, AOSH will begin preparation of enforcement action, ie imposition of per diem fines, prohibition of operations, shut down of operation, partially or altogether.

AOSH seeks to prioritize the monitoring and direct its efforts to the sectors where the need is greatest.

3. Risk Assessment for workplaces

An employer with operations in Iceland is responsible for making a written plan on safety and health at work or Risk Assessment . Employer refers to all parties undertaking construction and other work, both contractors and subcontractors. The program shall include evaluation of risk and a health plan for all employees of each contractor. The representatives of the employees in the workplace shall be consulted in the planning of Risk Assessment.

The objective of Risk Assessment is to reduce risk in the workplace, reduce the number of accidents, preventing occupational accidents and reduce the risk of occupational diseases. Risk assessment is actually a prevention program that involves assessing occupational risks for the safety and health of workers and the risk factors in the work environment. Special attention should be given to jobs where it is foreseeable that the health and safety of the workers involved are subject to greater risk than other workers.

Art. 65 to 67 of Act. no.46/1980 deals with the obligations of the employer in Risk Assessments. The employer must also read and comply with the regulations relating to the economic activities he works with. Some examples are;

This list is not complete but on the web side of The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health issues (AOSH) you can look up Work environment guidelines (check lists) that refers to professions which are aids and guidelines for Risk Assessments. The Work environment guidelines operate by reference to the laws and regulations that must be in used in each Risk Assessments.

Employers are monitored and controlled by AOSH to fulfill the obligations of making Risk Assessment. Employer must have the Risk Assessment available at all times for their managers, employees and AOSH. The employer can get authorized service provider in safety to carrying out the Risk Assessment if, for any reason, he considers himself to be unable to do it. AOSH can also order the employer to apply to the authorized service provider in safety, if AOSH consider the employer unable to perform the Risk Assessment.

On AOSH web side is a list of authorized service provider in safety providing comprehensive services inhealth and safety. 

4. Course for safety representatives and safety managers

The objective of the course is to increase knowledge of health and safety, reducing occupational accidents, sickness and generally increase wellbeing of the employees. The employer is responsible for establishing health and safety efforts in the company and to create working conditions that are healthy and safe for the workers.

According to Act on Working Environment, Health and Safety in Workplaces no. 46/1980 . Employer operating in Iceland is obligated to appoint safety representatives and workers' safety representatives to handle the working environment health and safety in the workplace. The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health issues (AOSH) provides regular courses on occupational safety and health for safety representatives and safety managers.

According to Regulation no. 920/2006 the employer shall ensure that the safety representatives and safety managers receive appropriate education and training by attending the course. The course is at the employer's expense, twelve hours, two days from 9:00 a.m. to 16:00 with one our lunch break.

The course covers all major issues relating to the work environment such as noise, lighting, indoor air and ventilation conditions, physical risks, social and psychological factors of health in the workplace, occupational injury, occupational accident prevention and use of personal protective equipment. Introduction of OSH Act (46/1980) and regulation set according to them. Arrangements of the risk assessment are exceeded, according to Act 46/1980 the employer is responsible for having a special written risk assessment where the occupational risks for the safety and health of workers is evaluated. Participants will study educational material issued by AOSH useful for safety representatives and safety managers.

Registration for the courses is on the web side of AOSH but you can also contact us by telephone +354-550 4600 from 08:20 to 16:00 Monday to Thursday and 8:20 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday, or send an e-mail at

5. Notification and registration of accidents at work

Icelandic companies must keep track of all incidents and accidents occurring at work. This registration is intended for the companies to be able to do a good risk assessment and institute proper prevention at the worksite.

If accidents causing absences in addition to the date of the accident it should be reported to the Administration for Occupation Safety and Health (AOSH) as soon as possible. Accidents, where there is likelihood that the employee has sustained long-term or irreversible health consequences, AOSH should be notified no later than within twenty-four hours so that a field inspection can take place. Accidents should be further reported to AOSH in writing within a week on a special form.  Employers should report any accident where an employee dies or becomes incapacitated for a least one day as well as the day of the accident.

A form to report accidents at work  

AOSH and those involved in the companies and for the companies in work safety including authorized occupational service shall receive a duplicate of the notification.

You can go to the website of AOSH where you can get information about statistics on accidents at work directly from the accident database and access a form for reporting occupational injuries. AOSH has designed tools for recording of occupational accidents and incidents within the company.

For more information on the tools or work accidents register contact:

AOSH and those involved in work safety in companies (cf.. 46/1980, 4.-6. Art.), Workers' safety, security and authorized service providers who work for an employer (46/1980, Article 66. A) shall have access to accident and incident records at workplaces. The employer and the parties listed above should treat personal data from accident and incident files as confidential.