The Work environment in brief

The objective of the law is to prevent workers from being exposed to illness or accidents. It states, for example, that the employer is ultimately responsible for working conditions and must always work to improve working conditions.

The law imposes obligations on employers and other persons responsible for safety to prevent ill health and accidents at work. There are also rules on cooperation between employers and employees, for example, rules regarding safety representatives.

Working conditions include all factors and circumstances at work:

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

Work environment Act, translated into English 

Systematic Work Environment Management

Systematic work environment management 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.

Systematic Work Environment Management

Employer's responsibility for working conditions

The employer is always obliged to ensure that work can be performed without exposure to illness or accidents. Staff must not only be aware of the risks which may exist, but also be able to avoid them.

Responsibility for working conditions

Employee's involvement in working conditions

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.

Employee's involvement in working conditions

Safety representative and work conditions representative

All work places which have at least five employees must have a safety representative, who is also known as a working conditions representative. The safety representative is the employees’ representative and is to work together with the employer to ensure that working conditions are safe. The safety representative may stop work if there is a serious danger to life or health.

Safety representative and working conditions representative

More detailed rules on working conditions

The Swedish Work Environment Authority is the authority which has been commissioned by the Government to regulate 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.

Regulations in English

Regulations in Swedish

Health and safety requirements

The Swedish Work Environment Authority has a number of health and safety requirements. If you submit a notification or application for authorisation, you do so by using an e-service or form.

Professional qualifications

Some jobs require a professional qualification. The Swedish Work Environment Authority issues decisions that foreign professional qualifications correspond to Swedish standards for

  • work with biocidal products class 1
  • work with medical checks
  • diving work
  • blasting technicians

The Swedish Council for Higher Education has more information on the assessment of foreign education.

Appllication for professional qualification

For posted workers

Posting to Sweden means that

  • an employer in another country sends an employee to perform a service in Sweden for a limited time;
  • there is a recipient in Sweden for the services to be provided by the employee.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority is the contact authority for posting to Sweden.


For employers of young people

Special provisions apply when hiring minors. Minors are also forbidden from performing certain tasks.

For employers of young people

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If you have a question, want to report abuse at a workplace or give us tips on workplaces where the working environment is not good? Contact us via our contact form.

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Last updated 2022-01-12