The Government's plan of action for the working environment is highly insufficient


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In mid-September, the Government’s plan of action for the working environment 2010 – 2015 was presented by the Minister of Labour Market Affairs. LO’s opinion is that a number of necessary improvements of the working environment at national level are left out.

The financial resources allotted to the Work Environment Authority were reduced during the previous term of office of the non-Socialist Government. The Working Life Institute was closed down and the demands imposed on employer were alleviated. When the Minister of Labour Market Affairs now submits a new plan of action, the necessary improvements required to create a safe and secure working environment for everybody, are left out. The present workplace conditions marginalize people from working life. The non-Socialist parties ignore this fact, Ulla Lindqvist, LO Vice President, says.

All employees must have the right to an occupational health service of satisfying quality. Working environment research must be further developed. The labour inspection of the working environment in Sweden must comply with the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation, ILO, the UN body for labour market issues. The ILO recommends one labour inspector for every 10 000 employees. Sweden fulfilled this condition until the non-Socialist Government started to cut down the resources for these activities. It is also necessary to boost the financial resources to The Work Environment Authority in order to enable these improvements, but none of these requirements is included in the Government’s plan of action, Ulla Lindqvist says.

LO also believes that the statistics of The Work Environment Authority must be acclimatized to reality. Today the statistics provide a conspicuously misleading picture of the actual situation. A review of the whole system of work injuries is also necessary.

The work environment research must be developed further. Sweden is in need of a concerted body within which the needs of working life research can be drawn up and in which knowledge of on-going research is integrated.

All employees must have the right to occupational health service of adequate quality. Preventive working environment issues are extremely rewarding seen from the society’s perspective. In spite of this, those in most need of occupational health services, are those who have least access to it. This applies, for example, to women within the commercial sector, transport sector, building maintenance, hotel and restaurant sectors. The LO demand is that all companies of all sectors shall have access to occupational health services.