You have the right to a safe workday

Employment agency employee, temporary agency worker, or consultant. The titles may differ but the assignment is the same - to carry out work with someone other than your employer. As a temporary agency worker you are often new at work because each workplace is unique, with its own culture, work environment, and specific risks.

What is it like for you at work?

A good work environment means not being at risk of falling ill or injuring yourself at work. You shouldn’t get pain in your body from sitting incorrectly or performing the same movements for several hours in a row. You shouldn’t be at risk of losing control of a vehicle or hurting yourself on a machine either. It may also be about having the right lighting, being able to lift without getting hurt, or to feel safe at work.

It is equally important to have a good mental and social work environment. An excessive workload is an example of when there is no good work environment. If you have too much to do, or if you feel you can’t cope no matter how hard you work, you may risk feeling stressed and becoming ill. The social work environment is about what it is like at work with your colleagues. Those who feel lonely, like outcasts, or excluded at a workplace can become ill.

The same right to a good work environment

A temporary agency worker has the same right to a good work environment as everyone else in the workplace. It is important that you feel safe and welcome. If you are under 18 years old, you must also have a supervisor.

More information for you who are young in working life

Before you are deployed to a workplace

Make sure you receive enough information from your employment agency about the workplace to which you will be deployed. What type of company is it? What tasks are included and what risks are there? Do you need to use personal protection equipment and who will provide you with such equipment? It is important that you receive work tasks corresponding to your skills;, otherwise the risk of injury will increase.

You have the right to an introduction

When you start a new job, everything is new. It is therefore important that you receive a proper introduction where you find out your working tasks and the risks involved.

During an introduction, you should receive information on

• the tasks and how to carry them out

• manuals, checklists and other written instructions needed at work

• what accident risks are present in the work and how to protect oneself from them

• any personal protection equipment available and how to use it

• how any tools, machines and other equipment work

• where fire and first aid equipment is available, and how alarm procedures work.

It is also important that you get information about

• the general procedures at the workplace, premises, coffee breaks and lunch areas, as well as other things that make it easier for you to feel a part of the activities

• to whom you can turn if you have questions about the work environment

• who your closest managers - and possibly supervisors - are. You should also be informed about who the safety representatives and union representatives are.

Speak up if there is something you don’t understand or if you are still unsure how to perform the tasks. It may take time to learn a new task, so make sure you get the time you need. This is important - a good introduction reduces the risk of injury on the job.

If you don't understand - ask!

You should neither fall ill or be injured by your job, nor should you get pain in your back or become stiff from performing the same movements for several hours in a row. Your manager must ensure that the work environment is good, but cannot know everything that happens. You also have your own responsibility regarding the work environment. You must follow the instructions at the workplace and use any safety equipment necessary. Make sure you get a good introduction, and if you find any shortcomings in the work environment that could lead to injury, you should immediately contact the manager at the workplace or your employment agency.

If your work tasks should change during the time you are deployed

You should only do the tasks that you have agreed with your agency that you will do. If you suddenly get a new working task, for example, to be asked to drive a forklift truck or take over administrative tasks for which you don’t have the competence, you should contact your employment agency first.

Who is responsible for your work environment?

Both your employment agency and the workplace where you are located are responsible for ensuring that your work environment is good, and they must work together to ensure make sure that you are not exposed to any risks. They must both provide you with the information you need in order to be able to do a good job.

Your employment agency is your employer and is responsible for

• the workplace to which you are deployed being investigated and risk-assessed

• you receiving a good introduction to the workplace

• you doing well during the deployment period

• having regular contact with you as well as supporting and following up your work

• reporting serious incidents and occupational injuries to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

The workplace where you are placed is your supervisor and must

• give you a good introduction to the workplace

• instruct you about your duties

• make you aware of any accident risks and how you can protect yourself

• inform you to whom you can turn to if you have questions about your work environment, or if you discover any risks that could lead to illness or injury.

You have your own responsibility!

• You must follow the instructions at the workplace.

• You must use any protective equipment necessary.

• Contact your employment agency and the manager at your workplace if you find that there are shortcomings in the work environment that can could lead to illness or injury. If there is a safety representative and union representatives, you can also contact them.

• Ask if you don’t understand.

Safety representative

A workplace with more than five employees must have a safety representative. The safety representative can represent you in case of problems in the work environment, and ask the employer to do something about them.

There are three types of safety representative

• The temporary workers agency safety representative

• The customer company's safety representative

• The regional safety representative of the trade union to which you are affiliated.

What happens if you injure yourself at work?

If you experience a serious occupational injury, you must inform both your employment agency and the manager of the workplace where you are deployed. You should also turn to them if you encounter a situation that could have led to an accident, a so-called incident. The employment agency must then report the injury to the Swedish Work Environment Authority and to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. You can make a report yourself to AFA Insurance - if there is a collective agreement, you can be compensated for your injury.

If things don’t work out at the workplace to which you have been deployed

Contact your agency if you don’t get the support you need,  if you feel excluded, or if you are told to perform new tasks that your agency doesn’t know about. You should also contact them if you have received unclear instructions for your duties, injure yourself, or discover shortcomings in the work environment.

If you want to know more about what a good introduction means, you can read about it on our page for those who are new at work.

For you who are new at work

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Last updated 2018-02-02