Work environment responsibility for foreign workers in the green sector

Foreign labour plays an important role in Swedish agriculture and forestry today. The foreign labour force is subject to the same requirements for good work environment as the Swedish labour force. A good work environment not only prevents accidents and injuries; it also benefits your business.

Good communication and clear rules are extra important

Working with seasonal migrants or new arrivals places extra high demands on good communication and clear workplace standards. Here you will find useful information material and advice and tips gathered in one place. The pages about the work environment in agriculture are also available in English.

Picture books from Prevent – a tool to instruct foreign workers

The Prevent organisation has produced picture books that easily, without text, show how to work safely within agriculture, landscaping, forestry and horticulture.

These picture books are aimed at those who do not have Swedish as a native language, for example seasonal employees. Please use them! The books can be downloaded or ordered free of charge from Prevent.

Work safely in agriculture, picture book with illustrations, Prevent website, opens in a new window

Work safely in forestry, picture book with illustrations, Prevents website, opens in a new window

Work safely in landscaping and outdoor environments, picture book with illustrations, Prevent website, opens in a new window

Work safely in horticulture, picture book with illustrations, Prevent website, opens in a new window

Everyone needs a good introduction

Did you know that a good introduction reduces the risk of occupational injuries? Swedish work environment regulations apply to all those working in Sweden, including those who are temporarily employed, such as seasonal migrants. The introduction should contain clear instructions about the tasks, safety, and the procedures that apply at your workplace.

The introduction must contain information about

  • the tasks and how the person is 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 employees receive information about

  • the general procedures at the workplace, premises, coffee breaks and lunch areas as well as other things that make it easier for them to feel a part of the activities
  • to whom they can turn if they have questions about the work environment
  • who the closest managers and possible supervisors are. Employees should also receive information about the safety representative and union representatives.

 

Clear instructions reduce the risk of injuries

Giving and receiving instructions in another language is not always easy. Therefore, it is important that you devote time to, if possible, providing the information in a variety of ways: verbally, in text and image, as well as by showing and allowing the employee to try performing the task under supervision.

Make sure that the foreign worker understands the instructions. In case of  tasks entailing risks, the instructions must be written and produced in such a way that the employee understands, no matter what language the person speaks.

Important information on signs and policy documents may need to be translated into the most common languages among your employees. Do not forget to make sure that the employee has understood the instructions! It may take time to learn a new task. Make sure that the person receives time for learning and really learns to perform the task.

Safety at the workplace

Your business is someone else's workplace. Regularly investigate the work environment in the area and address any risks that are detected. Show your employees what risks their working tasks may entail. Be clear and consistent - describe what an incident is and how it can lead to an accident. Explain that incidents must be reported so that they can be remedied. Keep in mind that it is important that working tasks are rotated in order to avoid musculoskeletal disorders and other ergonomic problems.

Do you want to know more?

Within agriculture and forestry, the number of fatal accidents is higher than in most other sectors. To reduce the number of accidents and occupational diseases, there are rules that will make the work safer.

Work environment responsibility for work in agriculture and forestry

Information for foreign workers in the green sector

Prevent  about the work environment in agriculture, forestry and horticulture, Prevent website, opens in a new window

LRF Integration, LRF's website, opens in a new window (LRF = Federation of Swedish Farmers)

SLU (the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) Foreign workforce in Swedish agriculture, SLU's website, opens in a new window

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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 2018-01-25