Tips and guidance for your work environment management

The regulations regarding work environment management are constituted of twelve paragraphs which make demands on how the work environment management should be organised, and which activities need to be carried out.

The paragraphs, or demands, together build a system that should be seen as a whole where all the parts interlock. With all the parts in place, one has the foundation for dealing with all work environment relationships and for creating a good work environment.

Below we explain the significance of the paragraphs. You will find examples of common demands that the we can direct towards employers who do not fulfil the different parts of the systematic work environment management.

1§. For these, systematic work environment management applies

The provisions about systematic work environment management apply for all employers, and the systematic work environment management encompasses everyone at the company.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 1§.

  1. You must ensure that managers and team leaders take into consideration the work environment of the temporary staff in the systematic work environment management.
  2. You must see that managers and team leaders take into consideration the work environment of their staff that are contracted out, in the systematic work environment management.

2§. Systematic work environment management is defined thus

The fundamental aim of systematic work environment management is to prevent ill health and promote a good work environment. Work environment management is connected to the management of the organisation. Clear procedures, knowledge, allocation of work environment tasks and cooperation at the workplace are important.

3§. Systematic work environment management – a natural part of the organisation

Work environment issues should be taken care of and coordinated with the operation’s management and improvement work, for example budget work, the hiring of staff, and staff meetings. Work environment management should be included in the daily activity in order that important measures can be carried out in time so that no employee shall be affected by ill health.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 3§.

  1. In connection with your work with the organisation budget, you must take into account the measures necessary to improve the work environment.
  2. You must, in connection with purchases/repairs/maintenance/staffing, take into consideration the consequences these have for the work environment so that steps to prevent ill health and accidents can be taken.

4§. Cooperation in work environment management

The employer has the primary responsibility for work environment management, but for it to be meaningful and effective, the employer must work with the employees and safety representatives so that more people help discover the risks that can exist in the work environment. Fora for cooperation around work environment questions are, for example, workplace meetings, staff dialogue and safety committee meetings. Procedures should be collectively drawn up to allow cooperation around work environment management.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 4§.

  1. You must ensure that all employees and safety representatives have the possibility to take part in the systematic work environment management in your organisation through regularly participating in the work with all the different activities that make up systematic work environment management.
  2. You must make sure that all employees and safety representatives who take part in work environment management receive the time and the information they need in order to be able to participate effectively.

5§. Work environment policy and procedure

A work environment policy must be drawn up which shows the employer’s overarching goals, desired direction, and methods for the long term work that one has with the organisation’s work environment. There should be documents that describe how we want it and how we will achieve it. Procedures are necessary for all the different activities in the systematic work environment management. It is important that these procedures have a connection to other procedures and activities in the organisation, and that they can be coordinated with them.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 5§.

  1. You must draw up a work environment policy. In this you must describe how working relationships should be in your organisation in order to prevent ill health and accidents, and create a good work environment. During the design of the policy you should take into account physical, psychological and social relationships that have an effect on the work environment. The work environment policy must be documented in writing if there are at least ten employees in your organisation.
  2. You must make sure that you have procedures in your organisation to carry out systematic work environment management. The procedures must be documented in writing if there are at least ten employees in your organisation.

6§. The allocation of tasks in systematic work environment management

The employer has the legal responsibility for the work environment management being carried out, but the tasks required to carry out the different activities can be allocated to others within the organisation. Bear in mind that it is the tasks that can be distributed, not the legal responsibility. Those who receive the assignments must also be given the resources and the authority required for the assignment, for example in the form of time, money and the possibility to make certain decisions.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 6§.

  1. You must distribute the tasks in the systematic work environment management to managers and team leaders. The allocation of tasks must be documented in writing if there are at least ten employees in the organisation.
  2. You must make sure that those who have received the tasks in work environment management have the authority and resources to be able to carry out the allocated tasks. By authority is considered the right to make decisions and take steps. By resources is meant economic means, access to staff, equipment, premises, time and knowledge.

7§. All must have knowledge

All employees need to have fundamental knowledge about the risks that exist in the organisation and what promotes health at work. Furthermore, managers and team leaders require knowledge about carrying out work environment management. Such knowledge can be acquired through special education or through actively working with work environment questions. If there are serious risks in the organisation there must also be written instructions for how certain tasks should be carried out.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 7§.

  1. You must ensure that all your employees have knowledge of the risks connected with their work and how they should carry out their work safely without risk of ill health and accidents.
  2. You must see that newly-employed staff receive introduction to the work.

8§. Examination and risk assessment

Examining the work environment and assessing the risks in the organisation are part of the central activities in systematic work environment management. In order to know how to examine the work environment, one needs to identify which sources of risk exist in the organisation. Examinations and risk assessments of the working relationships need to be ongoing and regular. Risk assessments must also be done when changes in the organisation are planned.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 8§.

  1. You must carry out an examination and risk assessment of working relationships in your organisation. The investigation must apply to all factors influencing the work environment, in other words physical, organisational and social relationships. The risk assessment must be documented in writing.
  2. Before you carry out the planned changes in your organisation, you must investigate and assess which risks of ill health and/or accidents the changes could bring about for the personnel. The risk assessment must be documented in writing.

9§. Investigation of ill health, accidents and incidents

Investigating the causes of ill health, accidents and incidents is a part of examining the work environment. It is necessary to always investigate undesirable events to see if there is a connection between the happening and the work. The aim is to find the causes of the occurrences, not to place blame on anyone. To pick up which unwanted happenings occur in the organisation, some form of reporting system is necessary.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 9§.

  1. You must investigate the causes of happenings such as ill health, accidents and incidents that have occurred in your organisation so that risks for ill health and accidents can be prevented in the future.
  2. You must make sure that all employees know that incidents within the organisation must be reported. Information must contain what should be reported, how it should be reported and even to whom the report must be made.

10§. Measures to fix risks

To remove or reduce the work environment risks that have been identified, different types of steps often need to be taken. The investigation and assessment of risks in the work environment are basic data for deciding which measures need to be carried out. Several different measures are often required to come to rights with a specific risk. The measures that are not immediately carried out must be included in a written action plan. All measures must be followed up to see if they have had the intended effect.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 10§.

  1. You must, in a written action plan, document the work environment measures you consider necessary to prevent ill health and accidents, and that you are not implementing immediately. In the plan of action it should be stated when the measures will be carried out and who will be ensuring that they are carried out.
  2. You must check whether the measures you have implemented have led to the expected result in the work environment. If the risk of accident or ill health remains, you must implement the further measures necessary.

11§. Annual follow-up

Once a year a follow-up of the systematic work environment management must be done. The purpose is to investigate and ensure that the work is being carried out as the provisions demand, that it works and that the different parts of the work environment management interlock. It is, of course, important to find out whether it really leads to better work environment. The follow-up gives an opportunity to discover shortcomings and to look over and steer the work environment management. It is also a good occasion to investigate whether work environment management is a natural part of the organisation.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 11§.

  1. You must, at least once a year, do a follow-up of the different activities in the systematic work environment management in your organisation, as well as, from the results of the follow-up, decide on any measures necessary to improve your work environment management.
  2. Your annual follow-up of the work environment management must be documented in writing if there are at least ten employees in your organisation.

12§. Occupational health services

If knowledge and competence in your organisation is not sufficient for work environment management, an occupational health service or equivalent expert help must be brought in. Occupational health services can be externally procured or arranged as an independent part of the company activities and must be utilised by both the employer and the employees. It is pertinent that it is hired as a coherent resource and not just for individual services. The help must be neutral in relation to the employer and the employees.

Examples of demands that we can direct towards employers who do not live up to 12§.

  1. You must hire occupational health services or equivalent expert help from outside for support in the carrying out of systematic work environment management in your organisation.

 

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Last updated 2015-08-20