The Environment and Workers Protection in Sweden

Environmental and Workers Protection (Sweden)

In the Swedish Work Environment Act, there are regulations about the obligations of employers and others responsible for safety, to prevent ill health and accidents at work. There are also regulations about the cooperation between employer and employee, for example rules about the activities of the safety representative.

The work environment encompasses all factors and relationships at work; technical, physical, organisational and social work content.
The employer is always obliged to see that the work can be carried out without risk of ill health or accidents. This means, among other things, that the employer is obliged to ensure that the person who will carry out a job receives sufficient instruction and really learns the work. The staff member must be able to fully understand the risks and must be able to avoid them.

The employee has no formal responsibility but participates in work environment management by, for example, reporting risks, incidents, illness, accidents and suggesting measures and giving opinions on ways to improve management systems. It is also imperative that the employees uses the protective equipment provided to them.

In order to check that the work environment is good, workplaces can be visited by an inspector from the Swedish Work Environment Authority. They also carry out checks of, for example, machines, so that these are safe for those who use them. If the work environment does not live up to the legal requirements, the employer could receive fines, a penalty, or sanction fees.

A mandatory training course is given annually by the Swedish Wood Preserving Association in cooperation with the Swedish Work Environment Authority and the Swedish Chemicals Agency for employees working in the wood preservation industry using creosote or chromium containing preservatives.