Introduce work environment licence for employers


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LO requires more vigorous steps to stop lethal accidents in workplaces in Sweden
Introduce work environment licence for employers

On the same day as the Swedish Work Environment Authority presented its final report “The analysis of the changing trends in the number of deaths due to death in workplaces”, another person died in a workplace accident.

- Our goal is zero tolerance – no deaths or serious injuries in workplaces in Sweden. Since the responsibility for the work environment in the workplace is employers’ task, our work is impossible if the employers do not share our goals, Ulla Lindquist, Vice President of the LO, says.

Within a high-mobility branch such as the building sector, it has an immediate effect on the economy of the companies that compete on bad work environment. The Swedish Work Environment Authority needs more resources. The Minister of Labour, Mr Littorin suggests that the environment inspectors should give employers better information.

The Work Environment Authority is of the opinion that small enterprises must improve their work environment-related knowledge and skills. Our starting point is that employers must assume their responsibility as regards work environment and reduce stress in workplaces.

LO considers that the basic knowledge of work environment is necessary to start an enterprise. LO therefore suggests that a “work environment driver’s license” should be introduced, which proves that the employer has got the work environment knowledge required to start a new enterprise.

In an article in one of the biggest morning papers on September 2, Sven-Otto Littorin, the responsible Minister, presented some measures that the government is going to take. It is positive that Mr Littorin has finally become aware of the problem and started doing something about the lethal accidents in workplaces. But it is too little, too late.

- At the same time as serious accidents happen to LO members in the workplace, the government has impaired the possibilities of carrying out satisfactory work environment activities. The government’s measures are short-sighted and insufficient, Ulla Lindqvist says.