Building and civil engineering work

This page contains information for people who work with planning, design, coordination of building work environment or building and civil engineering works.

What counts as building and civil engineering work?

Putting it simple, all work needed for the building, maintenance, alteration or demolition of a building or structure counts as building or civil engineering works according to the provisions of the Swedish work environment authority.

Examples of building and civil engineering work are:

  • excavation such as soil excavation and rock-blasting for house foundations or structures,
  • earthworks like foundation reinforcement (i.e. piling), spreading base course and surfacing on the ground, as well as installation of pipes below ground,
  • civil engineering work like building or maintaining roads or railway tracks, installation of water and sewerage mains or power lines, building power stations or parks,
  • building work such as wood, concrete and bricklaying works,
  • assembly and disassembly of prefabricated elements,
  • installation of interior fittings or equipment,
  • alterations such as reconstruction or addition,
  • renovation,
  • repairs,
  • disassembly,
  • demolition,
  • on-going maintenance,
  • periodic maintenance like painting and cleaning work,
  • drainage, and
  • decontamination.

When this type of work is conducted, the provisions about building and civil engineering work (AFS 1999:03Eng) always apply, regardless of whether it is a small or a large job.

Building and civil engineering work (AFS 1999:03Eng), provisions

Accidents are common in the construction Industry

The construction industry is one of the industries where most of the serious work-related accidents happen. The work places are temporary and the work is often mobile, which means that new conditions and therefore new risks occurs continuously. In a construction project, there are often many different companies involved, during both the planning and design phase and the construction phase. Therefore, good planning is where the different companies cooperate. All those involved in a construction project need to take their responsibility in order to create a safe and healthy work environment in the construction phase and the future use of the building or structure.

Below you can read more about how to prevent risks for accidents and occupational illnesses in building and civil engineering work:

Risks with building and civil engineering works

Prevent risks at construction sites

Work environment plan

Responsibility for the work environment on a construction site

In addition to the employer’s responsibility, normally other roles also have responsibility for the work environment when it comes to building or civil engineering work. Normally, different companies have the role as client, designer and employer for those conducting the construction work. It´s also common with several design companies and several contractors in the same construction project. Those involved in the project need to coordinate their work to prevent risks of accidents and occupational illness that can occur during the construction phase or the future use. That is the reason why there are specific regulations for building and civil engineering work. The rules are basically the same within the European Union, but there are some differences between the countries. Since they are minimum requirements, all countries have the right to develop them further.

The roles that have a responsibility to consider the work environment during the construction phase are

  • The client
  • Architects, structural engineers and other designers who are involved in the planning and design phase
  • the building work environment coordinator for the planning and design phase (Bas-P)
  • the building work environment coordinator for the construction phase (Bas-U)
  • employers (the contractors)
  • self-employed persons and family businesses
  • prefabricated building manufacturers

In building and civil engineering work, as well as all other kind of work, the employer´s responsibility for a safe and healthy work environment is the foundation in the work environment legislation. Self-employed persons and family businesses in the construction industry are obliged to follow the same regulations as employers. In addition, the client, the designers and the building work environment coordinators have responsibility for health and safety within the scope of their different assignments.

The client has an overall responsibility to ensure the work environment in the construction phase and the future use will be safe and healthy. The client need to appoint building work environment coordinators, one Bas-P and one Bas-U, to help coordinate those involved in the construction project, from the start to the end of the construction process.

The client, the designers and the building work environment coordinators

The client, the designers and the building work environment coordinator for the planning and design phase (Bas-P) should prevent risks for accidents and occupational illnesses that can occur

  • during the construction phase, and
  • in future use, on permanent workplaces or temporary workplaces in, or in connection to, the building or structure.

The building work environment coordinator (Bas-U) for the construction phase should prevent risks for accidents and occupational illnesses that can occur during the construction phase.

The client and the designers should prevent risks in the work environment in the construction phase and future use by trying to plan and design so the risks are eliminated. The client also need to ensure that the building work environment coordinators handle their coordination in the right way.

The building work environment coordinator for the planning and design phase (Bas-P) should coordinate the designers so that the building and civil engineering works, as well as future work during the building’s or structure´s operation, can be conducted in a safe and healthy way.

The building work environment coordinator for the construction phase (Bas-U) should coordinate the contractors so that their different works do not lead to hazards for each other.

Below you can read more about the different roles:

Responsibility during building and civil engineering work

Who is responsible for what within building and construction? (ADI 704 Eng), brochure

Employers, self-employed persons and family businesses

The parties conducting building or civil engineering work at the construction site has a responsibility for the health and safety of their own employees and themselves. These employers, self-employed persons and family businesses also need to coordinate their work with other parties carrying on activities at the construction site and follow instructions from the building work environment coordinator for the construction phase (Bas-U).

In order for the coordination to work, they need to for example provide Bas-U with information about the risks which their work may give rise to.

Below you can read more about the different roles:

Responsibility during building and civil engineering work

Who is responsible for what within building and construction? (ADI 704 Eng), brochure

Safer building (ADI 659 Eng), brochure

Planning and construction - An educational clip from The Swedish Work Environment Authority

Clip about health ande safety work in construction

Building and civil engineering work, (AFS1999:3Eng), provisions

Omslagsbild: AFS
The provisions are aimed towards all who have responsibility for building and civil engineering work, including developers. They contain, among other things, regulations about the transport of material at construction sites, roof work, roadwork and safety nets.

Sanction fees within construction

Since there are many high-risk operations in construction work, there are sanction fees in the provisions about building and civil engineering work (AFS 1999:3) for the following deficiencies:

The client has failed to send a prior notification to the Swedish Work Environment Authority before work begins, when that is required (construction work of a certain level of extent)
No work environment plan for the whole project has been drawn up before the construction site is established, even though such a plan is required (a prior notification is required or work with certain risks will be executed in the construction project)
Building or civil engineering work is executed where there is a risk that someone falls two meters or more and fall protection is lacking.

Sanction fees

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Last updated 2022-09-14