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Instructions for student health and safety representatives at Lund University

Student health and safety representatives represent students in work environment issues. At Lund University there are student health and safety representatives, principal student health and safety representatives as well as chief student health and safety representatives.

The information on this page is the final version after collaboration from 14 May 2018.

Content on this page: 


General information

Student health and safety representatives represent students in work environment issues. The representatives are appointed by the students; the election process is managed by the respective unions as well as Lund University Student Unions (LUS). The unions are also responsible for ensuring that the elected student health 
and safety representatives are aware of which study area/s (students, courses, programmes, etc.) they represent. Within each union, one or more principal student health and safety representatives are to be appointed among the student health and safety representatives, and chief health and safety representatives are to be appointed within LUS. LUS is responsible for providing an updated list of current student health and safety representatives and study areas to the central health and safety committee.

The education provider (LU) is to ensure that the student health and safety representatives are given the time they need to perform their duties. The education provider is also responsible for ensuring that the student health and safety representatives receive training for their assignment (Chapter 6, Section 18 of the Work Environment Act).

At Lund University, the training for student health and safety representatives consists of an online course on systematic work environment management and a lecture/workshop focusing on the role of student health and safety representative. The training is planned in consultation with the student representative.

Student 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 to rectify them.

The present instructions for student health and safety representatives complement the work environment agreement, and were drawn up in collaboration between the education provider and LUS. Work environment and work environment management in this context refers to the physical, social and organisational environment in which the students operate.

Instructions for student health and safety representatives

Student health and safety representatives are to promote satisfactory work environment conditions for the students, in accordance with the applicable work environment legislation, and the students’ involvement in this work. They are also to be a resource and sounding board to the head of department or equivalent person in charge of the work environment.

The student health and safety representatives are to

  • initiate measures to highlight and solve deficiencies in the work environment as soon as possible
  • address the need for measures in case of indications of study-related ill health, or other lack of adaptation of studies to the students’ conditions and needs
  • participate in investigations, risk and impact assessments, preparation of action plans and follow-up of plans concerning systematic work environment management
  • participate in the planning, and consider the impact on the work environment from changes in the organisation that will affect the students, e.g. new technology and work procedures, new chemical or biological substances, new construction, renovation, interior design and equipment matters 
  • participate in safety inspections and other reviews of the work environment within the study area/s they represent
  • inform students in their study group of their role as a student health and safety representative
  • participate in investigations of incidents and occupational injuries affecting students
  • as an appointed member, participate in the work within the central health and safety committee, local health and safety committee, and the health, environment and safety (HES) committee
  • forward issues to the principal student health and safety representative when the student 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 student 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.
  • participate in the training offered by LU to student health and safety representatives
  • 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.

Student health and safety representatives have the right to

  • request consultation with the head of department or equivalent person in charge of the work environment with regard to organisational, social and physical work environment issues 
  • request processing of a work environment issue by the education provider or local health and safety committee 
  • receive written confirmation from the education provider or the local health and safety committee on the reports submitted
  • continuously and well in advance participate in planning changes of relevance to the work environment within the study area they represent while observing relevant confidentiality legislation
  • while observing relevant confidentiality legislation, have access to documents and obtain other information of relevance from a work environment perspective
  • participate in and have the right to speak at departmental meetings involving work environment issues, and to have their views documented in the minutes
  • participate in the Inspection Authority’s inspection or review if it concerns the students’ work environment
  • 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 students, immediately forward the issue to the relevant work environment manager (head of department or equivalent). If the issue is not immediately resolved, the student health and safety representative has the right to forward the issue to a health and safety representative for an assessment of whether the activities should be suspended.

Instructions for principal student health and safety representatives

One or more principal student health and safety representatives are to be appointed by each union through election among the student health and safety representatives.

In addition to the terms above, the following also applies to principal student health and safety representatives:

The principal student health and safety representatives are to

  • provide support for student health and safety representatives and coordinate their activities
  • be responsible for the induction of new student health and safety representatives within the study area they represent
  • based on information from the student health and safety representatives and the students, help identify any deficiencies in the work environment in time, report them to the head of department or equivalent and/or local health and safety committee, and, if possible, propose measures to rectify the reported deficiency
  • forward issues to the chief student health and safety representative when the principal student 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 principal student health and safety representatives have the right to

  • represent student health and safety representatives in matters concerning several study areas
  • request investigation or inspection of work environment conditions within the study area/s they represent
  • propose measures to improve the work environment to the education provider, local health and safety committee or central health and safety committee
  • receive written confirmation from the education provider, local health and safety committee or central health and safety committee on the proposals submitted.

Substitute student health and safety representatives/principal student health and safety representatives

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

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

Instructions for chief student health and safety representatives

One or more chief student health and safety representatives are to be appointed by LUS through election among the student health and safety representatives.

In addition to the terms above, the following also applies to chief student health and safety representatives:

The chief student health and safety representatives are to

  • provide support to the principal student health and safety representatives and coordinate their activities
  • provide support in general issues to individual student health and safety representatives within a study area, in lieu of a principal student health and safety representative or if the principal student 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 student health and safety representatives and principal student health and safety representatives 
  • make sure that the education provider (LU) has an updated list of current student health and safety representatives and the study areas they represent
  • based on information from the principal student health and safety representatives and the students, help identify any deficiencies in the work environment in time, report them to the head of department, local health and safety committee or central health and safety committee, and, if possible, propose measures to rectify the reported deficiency.

The chief student health and safety representatives have the right to

  • represent principal student health and safety representatives in matters concerning study areas of several principal student health and safety representatives 
  • request investigation or inspection of work environment conditions concerning study areas of several principal student health and safety representatives.

Confidentiality

The student 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 6.2.

Contact

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