Work with risks that requires a Work Environment Plan

If certain work with risks will be conducted in the construction project, a Work Environment Plan needs to be drawn up before the construction site is established.

Here you will find information about the works with risks that must have measures described in the Work Environment Plan.

Since the works below imply serious risks for health and safety, it is always necessary to take measures for those of the works that will be carried out. The measures that have been chosen to prevent the risks should be clearly described in the work environment plan. If a work with certain risk will recur several times during the construction project, there should be a description of the measures for each time, if the measures differ from time to time.

Here you can read more about what the work environment plan should include:

Work environment plan

Work with risks that requires a Work Environment Plan

If work entails a risk of a person falling to a lower level where the difference in level is two metres or more, a Work Environment Plan is required for the construction project. You can read about measures to prevent the risk of falling to a lower level here:

Work that is carried out at heights

Work that entail a risk that someone can be buried under earth or sink down in loose soil requires a Work Environment Plan to be drawn up. That is most excavation works, except for those where there are no risks for personal injuries. Read more about excavation work and what measures to take here:

Ground work and foundation work

If work will be conducted with any chemical or biological substance that imply a particular danger to the health or safety a Work Environment Plan is required. The same applies if a substance requires medical supervision according to The Swedish Work Environment Authority´s provisions. Dangerous substances can be found in both existing ground or buildings, which can be the case when performing excavation work or demolition. Sometimes a dangerous substance is needed during the construction phase. Some common dangerous substances are:

  • asbestos
  • quartz (dust)
  • thermosetting plastics.

Read more about how to prevent the risks when handling dangerous substances:

Medical check-ups and health assessments in working life


Chemical Hazards in the Working Environment (AFS 2011:19Eng), provisions

Work where employees are exposed for ionizing radiation is unusual in the construction industry. Some examples where this kind of risk can occur is during work:

  • in a nuclear plan
  • in mines or other work with rock under ground
  • with decontamination of radon in housing
  • with metal recycling
  • water treatment plants (radon)

Ionizing radiation in this case means

  • radiation in terms of alpha, beta, gamma and neutron radiation which arise from radioactive substances disintegrates,
  • exposure of radon which is a radioactive inert gas.

If exposure in terms of radiation is in question, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) is the authority that has the primary responsibility.

Swedish Radiation Safety Authority

When it comes to radon, the Swedish Wok Environment Authority has the supervisory responsibility and there is a limit value for radon in the provisions about limit values.

According to the Swedish Work Environment´s provisions about work with rock or in mines, the content of radon must be measured during work underground.

Work with a risk of coming in contact with high voltage power exists in civil engineering work with cables in the ground and in the air, but also inside buildings, as well as in distribution boards and signal boxes.

It is important to, in the early planning and projection phase, find out where the risks with high voltage power lines are, in order to be able to prevent problems and plan suitable working methods.

It can require several different practical measures to prevent risks, such as:

  • contact with the electricity grid supplier
  • staff with the right competence for certain work near power lines
  • detailed drawings with the cable layout and other circuit diagrams
  • planning for the disconnecting and redirection of power lines
  • planning of the space to carry out the work
  • planning of material transport
  • suitable sites for new excavation
  • the placement of transport roads with regard to overhead and underground power cables.
  • the planning of a safety distance for certain risky work such as hoist work, blasting work, and crushing, in relation to high voltage power lines
  • grounding (earthing) of certain machines that carry out work near power cables
  • technical measures that limit the risk of machines coming into the risk areas
  • appropriate parking place for machines and for refuelling
  • suitable area for the establishment of construction
  • taking care of persons after electrical accident.

Above are examples of measures that can need to be described in the work environment plan, together with drawings and other documentation where risks and measures are clearly described.

During interior installation work in distribution boards and signal boxes, work with the pulling of cables often takes place in too-small spaces. This can entail crawling over and under different types of raised access and cavity floors where workers must both make their way to and carry out the work. There can be cables that need to be pulled during the work, flooring slabs that need to be lifted, and other heavy equipment that needs to be installed. These working methods need to be specially analysed before the work begins.

Distribution boards and signal boxes are examples of installations that need future maintenance, and they must therefore fulfil the requirements that are in our provisions about the design and ergonomics of the workplace.

It is primarily the Swedish National Electrical Safety Board’s stipulations that regulate work near high voltage power cables. There are also different standards and other regulations, for example, beside roads and railways, that one should follow.

Swedish National Electrical Safety Board’s website, opens in new window

Work near high voltage power lines often requires contact and coordination with the current power supplier.

For some persons it can be inappropriate to carry out work near high voltage for medical reasons, for example if one has a pacemaker. 

Certain building and civil engineering work is carried out close to water. Such work requires specific planning.

Common work with a risk of drowning can be the installation of bridges, dams, jetties or work from workboats. With this type of work it is important to specifically think about guardrails to protect against falling, safe access routes and work platforms, slip prevention measures etcetera.

It is also important that there is a plan to prevent risks of drowning, and also for how one should be able to save a person who falls in the water. Hypothermia is also an important risk to take into consideration. Personal safety equipment as well as lifejackets should be worn when there is a risk of drowning.

When work will be conducted under ground, like tunnel work or work with pipes, wells or earth reinforcement, there is a need for certain measures that should be described in the Work Environment Plan.

Read more about underground work here:

Work underground, in tunnels, wells and pipes

Working with diving is risky, and may only be carried out according to the Swedish Work Environment´s regulations about diving work.

There is a requirement that the diver should have a diving certificate corresponding to the Swedish professional diving certificate, and there should be a dive team consisting of at least three persons; the dive leader, diver, and reserve diver. Further demands are placed on the dive plan, risk assessment and equipment.

Common risks during diving are:

  • deficient equipment
  • that one is lacking the correct training
  • that communication does not work
  • problems with access devices
  • bad weather conditions
  • the lack of an emergency plan
  • bad coordination
  • that access to hyperbaric chambers is not assured.

Those who dive regularly should undergo special medical checks.

Read more here:

Medical check-ups and health-assessments in working life

Application for professional qualification for diving work

Certain building and civil engineering work is carried out by submerging a type of construction under water, where one carries out the work in, for example, caissons or underground tunnels. The work is carried out under increased air pressure.

Underground tunnels and caissons are examples of specific constructions where one can create a water-free working space in order to carry out foundation work.

This work is risky because water can find its way in, and also because it is carried out under pressure, over-pressurisation. The latter entails risks of decompression sickness in the same way as for divers.

Blasting is often carried out to prepare for the construction of buildings, tunnels and roads and for laying pipes or cables. Blasting work is risky and must be carried out and managed by persons with specific expertise and experience. It is particularly important that all those involved in the workplace are informed about the risks and how to behave at locations where explosive work is carried out.

Work with explosives

Heavy building components are for example used in construction using prefabricated elements in concrete, steel or wood

The construction often goes more quickly than building from start on site, but entails a number of other risks during installation. To establish an installation plan and ensure that a competent person is leading the work can be some of the measures that are described in the Work Environment Plan.

Heavy shuttering elements can be used when moulding on site. When such heavy shuttering elements are used, it is also required to described what measures will be taken in a Work Environment Plan.

Work with heavy building components

Work close to roads and tracks with passing vehicular traffic requires preventive measures and the measures should be described in a Work Environment Plan. It could be both maintaining roads or tracks, or other type of construction work where there is external traffic in the same area. Read more about work close to roads and rails below.

Work close to roads and rails

A Health and Safety Plan is required if demolition of load-bearing structures or health-endangering material or substances is going to be conducted. Measures that prevent the risks of accidents and occupational illness should be described. Read more about the health and safety risks during demolition here:


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; clients, designers, building work environment coordinators, employers, self-employed workers, family businesses and persons producing prefabricated buildings or structures.
Building and civil engineering work, (AFS1999:3Eng), provisions

Last updated 2023-09-26