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Predicting risks

In order to conduct effective work environment management, it is important to know what risks are present in the workplace.

Under the Work Environment Act, the employer is to systematically plan, manage and follow up the activities of the organisation in such a way that the work environment fulfils the requirements of the act and of regulations adopted with the support of the act. The employer is also to investigate occupational injuries, continually investigate risks in the workplace and take measures resulting from this.

Measures that cannot be taken immediately must be scheduled – an action plan is to be drawn up. An action plan is a list of the steps needed to improve the work environment, dates by which the steps are to have been taken and the name of the person responsible for them. Furthermore, the employer is to assess whether planned changes to the workplace such as reorganisation, renovation, staff cutbacks or discontinuation of activities entail risks of illness or accident that may need to be addressed.

Under the Lund University regulations on impact assessments in conjunction with changes to operations (reg. No I F1 4684/2005), an impact assessment is to be carried out in accordance with a template and at the level of the organisation where the change is being planned and decided, i.e. central, faculty, department or unit level.

The impact assessment is to form part of the preparatory work and documentation on which the decision is based. It is therefore the responsibility of the person preparing the decision to ensure that an impact assessment is carried out.

Methods of identifying potential risks

• health and safety inspections
• targeted health and safety inspections
• staff meetings
• one-on-one discussions (e.g. staff appraisals involving a manager and employee)
• occupational hygiene and other measurements of working conditions
• medical examinations
• interviews or questionnaires
• compiled reports of illness, accidents and near-accidents
• completed adaptation and rehabilitation measures

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