Protection and preparedness for accidents
Protection against accidents comprises of measures to prevent accidents and to limit the consequences of accidents. Accidents means both accidents caused by people and natural accidents where people, property or the environment may be damaged.
The objective for the activity is to protect peoples lives, security and health against accidents, prevent accidents and to prevent or limit damage to property and the environment.
The Governments priorities
Preventing damage and injury
The Government gives priority to work with damage and injury prevention. Besides limiting suffering, it is more cost-effective to prevent accidents than having to work to limit the consequences of an accident that has already happened, for instance, by calling out the rescue services.
Supervisory activity relating to serious accidents with chemicals, transport of hazardous goods and handling inflammable and explosive goods is very important in this preventive work.
The ability of the individual
Work on reinforcing the ability of the individual to act rationally in connection with minor accidents is also important. This ability is very important in major accidents and can reduce the consequences of accidents that have already taken place.
Information and education/training
Information and education/training of local authorities are other areas that can have a preventive effect. It is, for instance, important that easily accessible information is provided to the authorities concerned, companies and organisations when handling inflammable and explosive goods.
New Rescue Services Act
On 12 November 2003, Parliament adopted new legislation on protection against accidents. This legislation came into force on 1 January 2004 and replaced the previous Rescue Services Act. The new law contains provisions on the measures that the state and local authorities are to take to protect against accidents. Instead of detailed rules, the law contains objectives that are to be met. In this way, the municipalities will be better able to adapt their activity to local conditions. Greater weight is also placed on preventive work.