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Instructions for health and safety representatives at Lund University

Health and safety representatives represent employees in work environment matters. At Lund University there are health and safety representatives, principal health and safety representatives as well as LU-wide health and safety representatives.

The information on this page is the final version after collaboration from 20 March 2018.

Content on this page:


General information

The establishment of health and safety areas and the appointment of health and safety representatives within the University are regulated in the local collective agreement on the work environment, and must comply with the established procedures. The trade unions determine, in consultation with the employer, the health and safety areas and appoint health and safety representatives, principal health and safety representatives and their substitutes following an election at the workplace concerned.

The health and safety representatives and principal health and safety representatives are to perform their duties within the scope of their employment. To carry out this work, they are entitled to be relieved from their regular duties (AML Chapter 6, Section 5) to the required extent. Health and safety representatives are not responsible for the work environment and can therefore not be held accountable for any deficiencies in the work environment or lack of measures.

The present instructions for health and safety representatives complement the work environment agreement, and were drawn up in collaboration between the employer and the trade unions.

Instructions for health and safety representatives

Health and safety representatives, within the respective health and safety areas, represent employees in work environment matters. Health and safety representatives are to promote satisfactory work environment conditions, in accordance with the applicable work environment legislation, and the employees’ involvement in this work. They are also to be a resource and sounding board to the work environment manager.

The health and safety representatives are to

  • participate in investigations, risk and impact assessments, preparation of action plans and follow-up of plans concerning systematic work environment management
  • initiate measures to highlight and solve deficiencies in the work environment as soon as possible, and thereby help the employer implement systematic work environment management
  • participate in the planning, and consider the impact on the work environment, of the organisation of the work, work environment training, introduction of new technologies and working methods
  • initiate measures in case of signs of work-related ill health or other deficient adaptation of the work to the conditions and needs of employees
  • participate in the planning, and consider the impact on the work environment of the use of substances, e.g. biological or chemical, that may cause ill health or accidents
  • comment on the impact on the work environment relating to new construction, renovation, interior design and equipment matters
  • participate in safety inspections and other reviews of the work environment within their respective health and safety areas
  • participate in inspections or investigations of the relevant inspection authority
  • participate in the induction of new employees
  • participate in investigations of incidents and occupational injuries
  • as an appointed member, participate in the work within the local health and safety committee and HES committee
  • forward cases to their senior manager or superior collaborative body in case there is disagreement between the health and safety representative and the work environment manager regarding the assessment of risks and measures to eliminate risks
  • forward issues to the principal health and safety representative when the health and safety representative is unable to perform their duties due to a conflict of interest or other hindering circumstances. 

To fulfil their duties, the health and safety representative shall

  • acquire knowledge of the work environment conditions within their respective health and safety areas from an organisational, social and physical perspective, for example, by participating in information meetings within the health and safety area, by having a continuous dialogue with employees, and by conducting staff meetings at times planned in advance and together with the employer
  • participate in the training offered by the employer at the University regarding work environment legislation, the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s regulations, and local work environment rules
  • have knowledge of the content of the contracts, agreements, etc. of significance to the work environment management
  • have knowledge of other legislation and information to the extent that it is relevant to the activities performed.

Health and safety representatives have the right to

  • request consultation with the manager in charge of work environment issues with regard to organisational, social and physical work environment issues at the workplace
  • request processing of a work environment issue by the employer or local health and safety committee
  • receive written confirmation from the employer or the local health and safety committee on the reports submitted
  • conduct regular inspections within the health and safety area, in consultation with the employer
  • participate in fire safety inspections
  • continuously and well in advance, participate in planning changes of relevance to the work environment within their health and safety area
  • while observing relevant confidentiality legislation, have access to documents and obtain other information of relevance to the work environment
  • participate in, and have the right to speak at, departmental/workplace meetings involving work environment issues, and to have their views documented in the minutes
  • seek advice regarding work environment issues outside the health and safety area
  • call for intervention by a relevant inspection authority, e.g. the Swedish Work Environment Authority
  • if there is an immediate and serious danger to the life or health of employees, suspend the work pending a statement from the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

Instructions for principal health and safety representatives

Principal health and safety representatives are appointed by election among the health and safety representatives within a health and safety area, following the joint approval of the trade unions.

The principal health and safety representatives are to

  • provide support for health and safety representatives and coordinate their activities
  • be responsible for the induction of new health and safety representatives within their health and safety area
  • participate in safety inspections of shared premises
  • based on information from the health and safety representatives and staff, help identify any deficiencies in the work environment in time, report them to the management and/or local health and safety committee, and, if possible, propose measures to rectify the reported deficiency
  • together with the health and safety representatives, comment on the impact on the work environment relating to new construction, renovation, interior design and equipment matters concerning several health and safety areas
  • together with the health and safety representatives, participate in the planning, and consider the work environment impact, of the organisation of the work, work environment training, the introduction of new technologies and working methods, covering several health and safety areas
  • together with the health and safety representatives, participate in the planning, and consider the work environment impact, of the use of substances, e.g. biological or chemical, which may result in ill health or accidents and which concern several health and safety areas
  • participate in the inspection or investigation of a relevant inspection authority
  • as an appointed member, participate in the work of the central or local health and safety committee, or HES committee
  • forward issues to the chief health and safety representative when the principal health and safety representative is unable to perform their duties due to a conflict of interest or other hindering circumstances 
  • forward issues to their senior manager or superior collaborative body in case there is disagreement between the health and safety representative/principal health and safety representative and the work environment manager regarding the assessment of risks and measures to eliminate risks.

To fulfil their duties, the principal health and safety representatives shall

  • acquire knowledge of the work environment conditions within their respective health and safety areas from an organisational, social and physical perspective, for example, by participating in meetings each semester with the health and safety representative within the health and safety area concerned
  • participate in the training offered at the University regarding work environment legislation, the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s regulations and local work environment rules
  • have knowledge of the content of the contracts, agreements, etc. of significance to the work environment management
  • have knowledge of other legislation and information to the extent that it is relevant to the activities performed

Principal health and safety representatives have the right to

  • represent health and safety representatives in matters concerning several health and safety areas
  • request investigation or inspection of work environment conditions within the health and safety area
  • propose measures to improve the work environment to the employer, local health and safety committee or central health and safety committee
  • receive written confirmation from the employer, local health and safety committee or central health and safety committee on the proposals submitted
  • while observing relevant confidentiality legislation, have access to documents and obtain other information of relevance to the work environment
  • participate, and have the right to speak, at faculty meetings involving work environment issues, and to have their views documented in the minutes
  • call for intervention by a relevant inspection authority, e.g. the Swedish Work Environment Authority
  • if there is an immediate and serious danger to the life or health of employees, suspend work pending a statement by the Swedish Work Environment Authority

Substitute health and safety representatives/principal health and safety representatives

In case of extended absence of a health and safety representative/principal health and safety representative, an appointed substitute may take their place. The employer must be informed in advance of the period during which the substitute will step in.

Substitutes are to be given the opportunity to participate in the training offered by the employer at the University regarding work environment legislation, the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s regulations and local work environment rules.

Regular health and safety representatives/principal health and safety representatives are to help ensure that the substitute has the information they need to step into the role of health and safety representative/principal health and safety representative when needed, while observing relevant confidentiality legislation.

Instructions for LU-wide health and safety representatives

In 2012, the University decided to establish three LU-wide health and safety representative posts to 
be filled by each of the three trade unions, Saco-S, OFR and SEKO. These representatives are 
commonly referred to as chief health and safety representatives.

The LU-wide health and safety representatives (chief health and safety representatives) are to

  • provide support to the principal health and safety representatives and coordinate their activities
  • provide support in general issues to individual health and safety representatives within a health and safety area, in lieu of a principal health and safety representative or if the principal health and safety representative is unable to perform their duties due to a conflict of interest or other hindering circumstances
  • be responsible for the induction of new health and safety representatives and principal health and safety representatives 
  • make sure that the employer has an updated list of health and safety representatives and areas
  • based on information from the principal health and safety representatives and staff, help identify any deficiencies in the work environment in time, report them to the management or central health and safety committee, and, if possible, propose measures to rectify the reported deficiency
  • be responsible for, in consultation with the vice-chancellor of Lund University, initiating the process of electing health and safety representatives every three years
  • as an appointed member, participate in the work conducted within the central health and safety committee.

To fulfil their duties, the LU-wide health and safety representatives shall

  • acquire knowledge of the work environment conditions within the University from an organisational, social and physical perspective, for example, by participating in meetings, synchronised with the annual calendar of the central health and safety committee, with the principal health and safety representatives within the University
  • have good knowledge of the content of the work environment legislation, and the provisions and general advice of the Swedish Work Environment Authority that apply within the area of activity concerned
  • have good knowledge of the content of the contracts, agreements, etc. of significance to the work environment management
  • have knowledge of other legislation and information to the extent that it is relevant to the activities performed
  • participate in the training offered by the employer at the University regarding work environment legislation, the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s regulations and local work environment rules.

LU-wide health and safety representatives have the right to

  • represent principal health and safety representatives in matters concerning one or more health and safety areas
  • request investigation or inspection of work environment conditions concerning health and safety areas
  • propose measures to improve the work environment to the local or central health and safety committee
  • receive written confirmation from the employer, local health and safety committee or central health and safety committee on the proposals submitted
  • call for intervention from a relevant inspection authority, e.g. the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

Confidentiality

The health and safety representatives and members of the health and safety committee are entitled to access all documents necessary for them to perform their duties. However, they may not, without authorisation, disclose or use information about the personal circumstances of an individual, for example, unless it is clear that the disclosure would not cause the individual or any related person to suffer.

Conflict of interest

See the University’s Rules of Procedure, chapter 6.

Contact

Contact your nearest HR function or work environment coordinator at faculty level/equivalent.