Health and Safety

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No one should become ill, be injured or die at work. Prevent ill health and accidents at work and establish good working conditions are of high importance. The employer is ultimately responsible for the work environment and must lead the work towards better working conditions.

The Work Environment Act contains regulations on obligations on employers and other persons responsible for safety to prevent ill health and accidents at work. There are also regulations on cooperation between employers and employees, for example, rules on the activity of safety representatives.

Working conditions include all factors and circumstances at work:

  • technical
  • physical
  • work organisation
  • social
  • work content

Work Environment Act translated into English 

Make sure the work environment is safe

To prevent ill health and accidents, working with the work environment management on working conditions must be a natural part of the daily activity of an organisation. Working conditions include all circumstances at a work place – social, organisational and physical.

Work with the work environment means that you as an employer investigate and remedy the risks that exist at work. Risk can be, for example, stress, situations where accidents easily happen, or that you work in a way that can harm the body.

Investigations and improvements of the work environment must be planned, done frequently and must be included in the company's routines.

Work with the work environment 

Employer's responsibility for the work environment

The employer is always obliged to ensure that work can be performed without risk of ill health or accident. Also, the employer must immediately intervene in all situations when an employee exposes himself or others to risks. Staff must not only be aware of the risks which may exist, but also be able to avoid them.

Responsibility for the work environment

Employee's involvement in work environment work

An employee has no formal responsibility, but is involved in work on working conditions by, for example, reporting risks, incidents, illnesses and accidents, proposing measures, and commenting on what has been done. The employer and the employees should work together to create a good work environment.

Employee participation in work environment management 

Safety representative monitor the work environment management at the workplace

The safety representative, or the work environment representative, is the employees’ representative and monitor the work environment management. The safety representative has in the Work Environment Act been guaranteed a number of powers and can turn to the employer with demands for measures for a satisfactory work environment.

Safety representative

For employers of young people at work

There are special regulations about what children and young people under the age of 18 may do. When employing minors, special provisions apply to how they may work. They are not allowed to perform certain tasks at all.

Working tasks for young people

More detailed regulations on work environment

The Swedish Work Environment Authority is the authority which has been commissioned by the Government to lay down in greater detail what applies to working conditions. Therefore, the Swedish Work Environment Authority issues regulations specifying what applies to working conditions as regards, for example, noise, dangerous substances, lone working and work place design.

It is your duty as an employer to know and follow the regulations concerning your business.

Regulations in English

Health and safety requirements

The Swedish Work Environment Authority has a number of health and safety requirements. For instance, you need permission to handle some substances at work and to make exemptions from the Working Hours Act. Permission are needed for instance:

  • To perform work involving asbestos
  • To use biocides
  • Handling chemical substances in group A and B
  • Use of genetically modified micro-organisms, GMMs
  • For exemptions from the Working Hours Act.

For some work or situations at work, you are obliged to notify The Swedish Work Environment Authority. In addition, you are obliged to report serious injuries and serious incidents.

If you submit a notification or application for authorisation, you do so by using an e-service or form.

E-services and forms (The Swedish Work Environment Authority) 

Answers to work environment questions

Get answers to your questions by contacting The Swedish Work Environment Authority on telephone 010-730 90 00.

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