Worker participation - Sweden

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Klaus Kuhl, Raluca Stepa, Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE GmbH, Germany

Introduction

Sweden has almost 9.5 million inhabitants and some 4.5 million workers. It is a highly industrialised country, with a long tradition in worker participation and a high rate of trade union membership.

Based on the Work Environment Act [1], the Swedish authority has requested employers to introduce a work environment management system (Systematiskt ArbetsMiljöarbete, SAM). The aim is to get employers to address the area of the working environment in a systematic and planned way [2]. The Swedish OSH system is described in detail at: OSH system at national level - Sweden. Worker participation is possible at several levels.

Sweden has a very interesting and unique system of regional safety representatives for small workplaces. They are appointed by the trade unions, and can inspect small and medium-sized companies. The costs for the inspections are partly covered by the government.

According to Frick and colleagues, and as cited by Trägårdh, Sweden has developed an impressing system of health and safety representation with more than 100,000 safety representatives - two thirds of which are in blue collar workplaces. Three quarters of the representatives were reported to be satisfied with their work [3].

Regulatory framework for worker participation

This chapter explains the legal foundations of worker participation, whereas the following chapter 3 describes the practice in Sweden.

International level

At the international level, regulatory provisions on worker participation are contained in Article 19 and 20 of the ILO Convention C-155 on Occupational Safety and Health [4]. Sweden ratified this convention in 1982 [5].

Article 12 of the (non-binding) ILO Recommendation R-164 [6] describes more specific rights and possibilities for employees and their representatives regarding worker participation. Recommendation R-129 contains general provisions on communication between employers and workers [7].

European and national level

The European Directive 2002/14/EC (general framework for informing and consulting employees) [8] requires employers to inform and consult workers via the workers’ representatives in the company, in three specific areas:

  • the recent and probable development of the company’s activities and economic situation
  • the situation, structure and probable development of employment and any anticipatory measures envisaged
  • decisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or in contractual relations

This directive was transposed into Swedish law by amendment to the law on works councils on cooperation (preceding the co-determination law, see below), based on an official experts’ report commissioned by the government (SOU 2004: 85) [9].

The OSH Framework Directive 89/391/EEC is the main legislation at the European level for worker information and consultation on OSH matters [10]. Worker participation is a fundamental part of the OSH management framework promoted in this directive. The Framework Directive was transposed into Swedish law by amending the Work Environment Act [11].

Besides this, workers’ representatives are regulated by a handbook called “Collaboration in systematic work environment efforts” (Arbetsmiljöverket 2006). The Swedish Work Environment Authority, SWEA, check for compliance, but they report difficulties arising from their dual position as monitoring agency and information provider [3].


Codetermination and collective agreements

The Co-determination Act (Medbestämmandelagen, MBL) regulates worker consultation and participation in working life, as well as the mutual right to organise, to union recognition, etc. MBL is thus the key law for the system of collective regulations. It is a framework law, which has to be implemented through collective agreements. The MBL gives the trade unions, as collective agents for their members, the right to elect board representatives, to receive information from the management, and to be consulted about management decisions [12].

The Labour Disputes Act governs the judicial procedure in disputes between the social partners. The institution in charge is the Labour Court (Arbetsdomstolen, AD) [12] . Since 2001, when safety representatives are not satisfied with company actions, they can file a complaint with SWEA and in the last instance, with the Swedish government [3] .

The right of information and consultation is limited by business confidentiality. In general, Member States have either followed the text of directive 2002/14/EC to the letter, or their existing national laws were already sufficiently detailed to require no further amendments, as was the case in Sweden, where employers can negotiate the confidentiality of information. If negotiations break down, but there is a serious risk for the undertaking or for a third party, the court may impose a duty of silence [9].


Trade unions, board representation, works councils, safety committees, safety representatives

Role of trade unions

Worker consultation and participation are channelled through the established unions and exercised through board representation for workers and negotiating managerial decisions. Legislation requires the employer to negotiate with the unions in the workplace before making major changes, and many of the practical arrangements for doing so, which are set by law elsewhere in Europe, are left to local negotiations in Sweden.

Safety representatives (see below), designated by a union that is signatory to a collective agreement with the employer, are classed as union representatives.


Board representations

Since 1973, Swedish workers have had the right to representation on company boards. Workers are represented on the boards of all companies with more than 25 employees. There are two or three worker members, accounting for around a third of board members in around three-quarters of companies covered by the legislation [13].

Board level representation is very widespread in Sweden. Under the 1987 Act on Board Representation for Employees in Private Employment, workers in almost all companies with more than 25 workers have the right to elect two board members and the same number of deputies (three in companies with more than 1,000 workers which operate in several industries, again with three deputies). The worker representatives, however, can never be in the majority [13].

The worker representatives on the board are chosen by the local union (with which the employer has a collective agreement). This is done either through local agreement between the unions in the company (provided they represent a majority of the workers) If agreement cannot be reached, a more formalised approach is adopted: This states that if one union has 80% of the workers in the company, then it is entitled to both the worker seats on the board, otherwise each of the two unions with the largest membership in the company has a seat. In practice, it is common for one of the worker representatives on the board to come from the manual confederation LO (Swedish Trade Union Confederation, Landsorganisationen) and the other to come from one of the two non-manual confederations, TCO (Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees, Tjänstemännens central organisation) and SACO (Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, Sveriges Akademikers Centralorganization). They can be chosen in a number of ways, including election at the union meeting in the company, appointment by the union, or a membership ballot [13].

On most issues, board members representing workers have the same rights as those representing the shareholders of the company. However, they cannot take part in discussions relating to collective bargaining or industrial action, or other issues where there is a clear conflict of interest between the company and the union. Worker representatives have no power of veto and so cannot stop majority decisions taken against their wishes [13].


Works councils

Works councils in Sweden were workplace bodies for co-operation between workers and management, instituted in the country in 1946 under an agreement between the employers’ association SAF and the Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen) LO. More extensive worker participation was introduced by way of the Co-Determination Act, and the works councils agreement was thus terminated. Today, the only works council in Sweden is the European Works Councils [14].


Safety committees

Safety committees play a central role in joint health and safety activities at workplace level. Under the 1977 Work Environment Act, a safety committee must be formed in every workplace with 50 or more employees, or in smaller workplaces if a request is made from the workers. Several such committees may be set up in larger workplaces. A safety committee can have subsidiary committees, such as a work adaptation group (see below).

The committee's principal function is to establish objectives for health and safety activities and to ensure that these objectives are attained. It must be involved in the planning and decision-making process of all related matters from the earliest possible stage. It is composed of representatives from both sides. Representatives from the worker side are chosen by the local unions that have a collective agreement with the employer, or by the workforce in exceptional cases where there are no such unions. One member should, if possible, be an employee in a senior management position. At least one safety representative (see below) must be included. The number of members is determined by the size of the workforce, the nature of the work and other circumstances prevailing at the workplace. There are no rules in the Act on which side is to have a majority in the committee. The chairperson and secretary are nominated by the employer’s side.

Wherever possible, the committee's decisions should be unanimous, and, thus, binding for the employer. However, if a particular decision entails financial commitments, then a unanimous decision also requires the backing of a work environment agreement (unless the committee has a special budget at its disposal provided by the employer). If the committee cannot reach a unanimous decision, a member may have it referred to SWEA for a ruling, but this is extremely rare. More detailed rules on safety committees are commonly laid down in work environment agreements [15].


Safety representatives

A safety representative in Sweden is a representative of the workers’ side in matters relating to health and safety and the broader work environment. Rules on safety representatives are laid down in the 1977 Work Environment Act [16], the 1977 Work Environment Order and work environment agreements.

Such representatives must be designated in all public and private workplaces where five or more workers are regularly employed. In smaller workplaces, a safety representative can be appointed by decision of the local union (with a collective agreement for the workplace concerned) or by the workforce itself in exceptional cases where there is no such union.

Where there are several such signatory unions, each union designates a safety representative. The number of representatives is decided by the workers’ side, in light of the size of the workplace, the nature of the work, and the circumstances surrounding the work. In the event of uncertainty or dispute over the number, it is advisable that the choice be made in conjunction with the employer and SWEA.

Safety representatives must work at the workplace concerned. Their period of office is normally three years, but can be renewed repeatedly without any limit; they can be removed from office at any time by the union that designated them. Those designated by a union that is signatory to a collective agreement concluded with the employer are classed as union representatives. They represent all workers within the union's domain, irrespective of union membership.

The tasks of these representatives are listed in the Labour Act. They are:

  • representing the workers in safety issues;
  • working to create satisfactory safety conditions; to check disease and accident prevention measures in the zone for which they are responsible (under certain conditions, the safety representative may even suspend work);
  • participating in the planning of new elements in working conditions (installations, equipment, processes, etc.) or in their modernisation; and in the compilation of a company prevention plan.

The employer must keep safety representatives informed of any changes for which he is responsible (an automatic right). Additionally, they are entitled to participate in negotiations and other matters necessary to their designated function. In certain situations, they can intervene and call a halt to the work. It sometimes happens that functions are assigned to safety representatives and safety committees under statutes other than the Work Environment Act. One such example is the 1998 Public Camera Surveillance Act, under which applications for a licence to install such equipment must be accompanied by an opinion issued by a safety representative, safety committee or organisation representing the workers. There are other examples in legislation on the construction industry. However, such opinions are a form of consultation and carry no veto right.

The formal responsibilities of safety representatives are basically confined to their own workplace. However, they also represent workers who are working on sites over which their own employer has no control, e.g. workers of a temporary-employment agency who are working at external workplaces.

Safety representatives have time-off rights, and no restrictions on the amount of time involved are imposed by law or collective agreement. They can carry out their mandate during paid overtime, if necessary, and are entitled to a room and to the assistance of experts in companies with over 50 workers [9].

Under the 1974 Workplace Union Representatives Act, the local union is given a priority right of interpretation, and in certain emergency situations, this right is exercised by the safety representative. They are subject to a certain duty of confidentiality [17].

The employer is also obliged to train the safety representatives (on full pay). They attend a basic 40-hour training course, the content of which is determined in conjunction with the trade union representatives, and varies from sector to sector. There are also in-depth courses for those who wish [17] [18].


Regional safety representatives (RSR)

Alongside these safety representatives, there is also a very interesting and unique system of regional safety representation for small workplaces without safety committees but with at least one affiliated member of a trade union. The trade unions appoint these representatives. They have the same rights as the normal safety representatives, but can inspect small and medium-sized companies [17]. The costs for the inspections are partly covered by the government.

For workplaces without safety committees, the Swedish Work Environment Act allows the local branch of a trade union to appoint a safety representative from outside (often a union official) – called a regional safety representative. This right only applies if the union has a member at the workplace.

Usually the RSRs cover many different workplaces in a particular sector, but their assignment can also be limited to one or only a few workplaces. The organisation that appoints also decides the area the representative is to cover [3].

According to Frick and colleagues the RSRs can partly be seen as consultants to small business owners [3], but they are the only outside party to be involved in health and safety issues for most small and medium-sized companies. Their tasks essentially consist of representing workers and carrying out inspections (as the labour inspectorate does not systematically cover these companies) [17] .

RSRs try to make workers and employers more active in detecting and limiting their own OSH risks. The main topic of the RSRs is to support systematic OSH work in the companies. The RSRs also take part in safety rounds at workplaces to assess the current safety situation. RSRs give 'support to self-support' at workplaces to improve the OHS work. Some RSRs support the training of other safety representatives and managers responsible for OSH. The training, such as participating in workshops, increases the participatory work between employers and workers [19].


Work adaptation group

The 1977 Work Environment Act makes employers responsible for the rehabilitation of their employees. The safety committee deals with issues relating to rehabilitation and adapting work. Co-operation on rehabilitation matters between employer and workers’ representatives may take place in the context of a work adaptation group operating under the committee's supervision. The social insurance office may also participate in the group, since it is responsible for society's contribution towards the rehabilitation of employees. The name “work adaptation group” is also used to refer to a body established for workplace-level consultation between the employer and the unions on the promotion of job opportunities for older workers and disabled persons. The Provincial Labour Board may also participate in this consultation [20].


OSH and worker participation

There is a long tradition of social dialogue in the private sector in Sweden. The main agreement (Saltsjöbadsavtalet) was negotiated in 1938. It gives the partners the right and responsibility to regulate pay and employment conditions. The social partners are often represented in advisory bodies or reference groups to government committees or enquiries. In Sweden, tripartite negotiations are rare, because the social partners do not welcome the government or any other party intervening in collective bargaining. The idea of self-regulation through collective bargaining by the social partners is strong [21]. When new provisions have been drawn up, the draft version is circulated for comments to the social partners, industrial organisations, certain national authorities and others concerned. New provisions are adopted by SWEA [22].

The system of worker representation in the public and private sector is established via the trade unions and, given the particularly high rate of unionisation in Sweden, the unions cover 90% of establishments in the private sector. Moreover, since 1991, it is no longer compulsory for worker representatives to be employed by the company; they may be regional union representatives [9].

SWEA has an established consultation procedure with the social partners. It demands routines to establish collaboration between employees and employers for their inspections, e.g. when risks in the work environment are evaluated. During inspections, authority representatives check with health and safety representatives and trade unions to see if this is done properly [3].

Indirect participation

Social partner agreements

The sectoral dialogue has a long tradition in Sweden. For example, in 1942, the workers’ union (LO) [23] and the employers' confederation (SAF) [24] agreed on general regulations for local organisation of safety at work (Allmänna regler för den lokala säkerhetstjänstens organisation). This was in place until 1992. Today, there are many stipulations in different business sectors, commonly based on local agreements between employers and trade unions, and a stipulation of occupational health care for employees in the public sector.

Example: The Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union started a campaign in 1996. Union staff visited more than 100 hotels in the South of Sweden. They met the room cleaners and, where appropriate, local health and safety representatives. They talked to them about their working conditions, etc, and collected the questionnaires that had previously been sent to the hotel cleaners. The main campaign goal was to sign agreements with the hotel companies leading to better working conditions for the room cleaners. Negotiations between employers and union representatives, in close cooperation with the cleaning workers themselves, focussed mainly on measures to reduce MSDs among the cleaners. The agreement (as an add-on to the normal labour agreements) requires the employer to commission external expertise from the Swedish Work Health Service to prevent and tackle MSDs among cleaners. The consultants scrutinise the working environment and make recommendations on how long room cleaning should take, so that cleaners are not overworked. The agreement is called Överenskommelse med förtydligande av 27 § 2 mom. ‘Hotellstädning’ i kollektivavtalet mellan Sveriges Hotell- och Restaurangföretagare och Hotell och Restaurang Facket. Section 1 covers psychological as well as physical strains faced by hotel cleaners. Section 3 concerns risk assessments, and section 5 requires the employer to contract the Swedish Work Health Service or a similar institute to determine how many rooms can be cleaned in a given period [25].


Regional safety representatives (RSR)

More than 1,500 persons are active as regional safety representatives (RSR), covering about 700,000 workers in 160,000 workplaces with fewer than 50 employees. In 2003, regional safety representatives visited about 65,000 small workplaces - a much larger number than the Work Environment Inspectorate [3]. They have spread knowledge on topics such as risk assessment methods, and have convinced owners of small enterprises to use them.

Financially, the trade unions are stepping up their economic responsibility for RSR, and they now fund about half the costs, while government pays the other half. According to the SWEM policy – “systematic work environment management” – regulated by SWEA, SWEM issues are the responsibility of the employers [3].

As an example: 60 regional safety representatives promote OSH work in SMEs in the Swedish furniture sector. In 2007, more than 900 furniture companies were visited, which resulted in the assessment of OSH concerns of more than 12,000 workers. Since 1974, the system with RSR (regional safety representatives) has been a fundamental part of the safety work in Swedish SMEs. The RSRs deal with companies without joint OSH committees and with 1-49 employees [26].

In the recently published report from the national labour union, 85% of the RSR answered that the employers were positive towards their work (Gellerstedt 2007). However, only half of the safety representatives felt that the employers were supporting them in their mission; 5% even felt that the employers were working against them [3].

The number of field inspectors in the Labour Inspectorate has been reduced in the last years, and thus the importance of RSR has increased. By law, every employer is obliged to do systematic and continual risk assessments. OSH work in many small companies would be very poor without the RSR system.

Co-operation between regional safety representatives and the Swedish Labour Inspectorate is also a key success factor: e.g. in the furniture sector, where meetings are held regularly to discuss OSH problems and check if cooperation is needed. It is important for companies to have knowledge about the RSRs in their particular region, so the employers can contact the RSR [19].

Funding is allocated from the government to the trade unions affiliated to the Swedish trade union federation. Approximately half of the funding goes to RSRs visiting companies. In theory, the trade unions are supposed to be compensated for the full RSR costs, but due to the increasing demand and coverage of the RSR system, the compensation is now down to approximately 60%. This means that the trade unions co-finance the RSR system in Sweden.

According to Trägårdh in Sweden, the system of regional safety representatives is considered successful. It enables the participation of small enterprises in health and safety issues. Despite the budget (less than 10 million Euros), which enables one visit every 2 or 3 years, the results have still been good [3].

Safety representatives

According to the officially registered statistics, in 2001, the overall number of safety representatives, including regional safety representatives, safety officers and safety committee members, totalled 93,000. This corresponds to around 230 representatives per 10,000 employees. Just over half are women.

In 1992 there were 128,000 safety representatives. From 1997 - 2000 the number was reduced by about 20%. In 2000 nearly 80% of all workplaces with five or more employees, there was no in-house safety representatives. The numbers are shrinking gradually. There were 107,000 in 2003 (253 per 10,000 employees) and less than 93,000 in 2007 (207 per 10,000 employees). In 2006 there was one safety representative for every 22 labour union members (Gellerstedt, 2007). The lack of safety representatives is more pronounced in small companies and in the private sector. Approximately 100,000 (mostly) small industrial workplaces do not have safety representatives. The number of safety representatives has only increased in workplaces dominated by academic professionals. According to the labour unions, the reasons for the problems in recruiting new safety representatives are manifold – lack of time, high work pressure, low status, and fear of reprisals from the employer [3].

There are controversies over financing to educate workers’ representatives. Until the 90s, the government paid most of it, but this is no longer taken for granted. According to EU regulation, training should be paid by the employers, but they normally pay only for time off - seldom for the training costs [3].

According to the Work Environment Act, workers and employers have a joint responsibility to guarantee that workers’ representatives have appropriate training. However, according to the survey made by Gellerstedt (2007), there are shortcomings. 72% of the workers’ representatives have no training plan for OSH; 5% have a defunct training plan, while 23% report having a functioning one. This means that less than 1 in 4 representatives have a training plan for health and safety matters. This can be compared to the training topics that worker’s representatives request. Nowadays, the greatest need tends to be in the psycho-social area. For example, 77% want training in psycho-social work environment issues, 75% in questions concerning crises and conflicts, 73% in rehabilitation and adjustment of work tasks, 71 % in work organization, and 60% in sexual harassment, threat and violence. In turn, these figures can be compared to what education worker’s representatives really get: 7% had 6 or more days in the last 12 months, 31% had 2-5 days, 24% maximum one day, and 38% received no training at all. In sum, less than 40% of the representatives received 2 or more days training [3].

In 2004, health and safety representatives in the Swedish labour union were asked in a survey if they had made use of the Work Environment Act paragraph on submitting proposals during the last three years. 29% answered yes, 56% said it had not been necessary, 5% did not want to support for such an action, and 10% answered that they did not know they had the right. Since 85% of the representatives know they have the right and seem to use it when needed, one can broadly say this part of the article has been implemented [3].

In another survey conducted in 2007, only 35% of the workers' representatives said that they have all the time required to fulfil their obligations; 42% said that they have the time required; while 20% stated that they just have time for the most important health and safety work, and 3 % report they have no time at all for their obligations. Overall, the main health and safety representatives have most time, while those who are single representatives in their workplaces have substantially less time. However, 77% of health and safety representatives report they have at least adequate time for their functions as representatives [3].

According to the same survey, only 11% of the regional health and safety representatives are informed by the employer of imminent SWEA inspections. 55% are not informed at all, and 26 % report that information varies from time to time. So, even if workers’ representatives have legal rights to what is stated in article 11 (6), there are still problems implementing it. The authors expect that these problems might be even bigger in the near future, since the Swedish Work Environment Authority budget was reduced by 30% from 2007-2009, which may reduce inspections by 20-25%. The ILO recommendation for industrialized countries is one inspector per 10,000 employees. Sweden had 1.2 in 2006, but this is expected to decrease to 0.7 in 2009 [3].


Safety committees

According to the above 2007 survey, there are safety committees in 70% of blue collar workplaces. In small workplaces, the situation is less favourable, with only 30%. Gellerstedt estimates that article 11 (1) has, in fact, only been implemented in 60% of the larger companies, and considerably less in small workplaces. Some sectors have large problems implementing Article 11 (1), e.g. the construction industry, and in private service, where part time temporary employment is usual [3].


Direct participation

Direct systems are not as widespread as indirect forms. They are often laid down in agreements, establishing decision-making groups often composed of all members of each work group, along with their supervisor. These decision-making groups are highly formalized in that they are part of an explicit agreement and they have specified rules. A number of principles serve as guidelines for these schemes [27]:

  1. Decision making should occur at the lowest possible level in the company. Thus, decisions that affect an individual or a work group should be made by that individual or by members of that group. Every effort should be made to achieve a consensus within the group, although the supervisor of the group in most cases retains final authority, should he or she disagree with others in the group. Decisions that affect several groups might be initiated within one group, but the decision should be made by a group composed of the supervisors of the affected groups along with the superiors of these supervisors. Similarly, organisation-wide decisions might, in principle, be proposed at relatively low levels in the organisation, but such proposals should be transmitted to some organ composed of representatives of the union(s) and of management.
  2. Each group should have a budget of its own, which is designed to foster self-determination of the group. The budget provides opportunities for, as well as limits to, self-determination. These decision-making groups may adopt the model of the so-called ‘autonomous group’, according to which the group’s technological, economic, and personnel ’inputs’, ’throughputs’, and ’outputs’ are regulated by members of the group within the limits of its budget and the requirements of the larger organization of which it is a part. Decisions regarding personnel within the group are an important component of the group’s prerogatives. The group should be empowered to make decisions or have a substantial say (e.g. by veto) about work methods, aspects of technology, promotions, transfers, admission of new members, vacation schedules, and leave.
  3. These direct participation groups should be integrated as much as possible with the organization-wide system of indirect participation. The two systems should work in harmony, each contributing to the effectiveness of the other. For example, any of the indirect participation groups described above may receive proposals from a group engaged in direct participation - or vice versa.


General evaluation

According to Frick and colleagues, as cited by Trägårdh, Sweden has developed an impressive system of health and safety representation with more than 100,000 safety representatives, two third of them at blue collar workplaces. Three quarters of the representatives are satisfied with their work [3].

The combination of in-house safety representatives and safety committees in workplaces with more than 50 employees seems to be satisfactory, at least in the sense that 75% of the safety representatives say they are satisfied with their work. In addition, comparative studies demonstrate that Swedish health and safety representatives have the highest levels of training and support in Europe [3].

The very interesting model of the regional safety representatives may serve as an example for other member states because it has the potential to considerably improve the OSH situation in SMEs [28]. It is also known in Australia and to a lesser extent in the UK [29] [30].


References

  1. Swedish Work Environment Act 1977:1160, amendments: up to and including SFS 2005:396, non-official translation. Available at: [1]
  2. Trägårdh, B., The role of health and safety representatives in Sweden – The implementation of EEC Directive 89/391, Working paper in Studies of Organization and Society 2008:1. Available at: [2]
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 Trägårdh, B., The role of health and safety representatives in Sweden – The implementation of EEC Directive 89/391, Working paper in Studies of Organization and Society 2008:1. Available at: [3]
  4. ILO – International Labour Organization, Convention concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the working environment C155, 1981.Available at: [4]
  5. International Labour Conference 98th Session, 2009, Report III (Part 1B): General Survey concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155), the Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation, 1981 (No. 164), and the Protocol of 2002 to the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981. Available at: [5]
  6. ILO – International Labour Organization, Recommendation concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment R 164, 1981. Available at: [6]
  7. ILO – International Labour Organization, Recommendation concerning communications between management and workers within the undertaking R 129, 1967. Available at: [7]
  8. Directive 2002/14/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2002 establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community - Joint declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on employee representation, OJ L 080 , 23.03.2002, p. 0029 – 0034. Available at: [8]
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 ETUI-REHS - European Trade Union Institute for Research, Education and Health and Safety, Information and consultation in the European Community Implementation report of Directive 2002/14/EC, 2006. Available at: [9] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ETUI-REHS" defined multiple times with different content
  10. Framework Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 1–8. Available at: [10]
  11. Swedish Work Environment Act 1977:1160, amendments: up to and including SFS 2005:396, non-official translation. Available at: [11]
  12. 12.0 12.1 Eurofound – European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Sweden – A country profile, 2009. Available at: [12]
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 ETUI - European Trade Union Institute for Research, Education and Health and Safety (2006). Sweden - Health and Safety. Retrieved March 2013, from: [13]
  14. Eurofound (2009). Sweden - Works councils. Retrieved 7 March 2013, from: [14]
  15. Eurofound (2009). Sweden – Safety committee. Retrieved 7 March 2013, from: [15]
  16. Swedish Work Environment Act 1977:1160, amendments: up to and including SFS 2005:396, non-official translation. Available at: [16]
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Prevent (2009). External OSH services in Sweden, Retrieved March 2013, from: [17]
  18. Eurofound (2009). Sweden – Safety representative. Retrieved 7 March 2013, from: [18]
  19. 19.0 19.1 UEA (publishing year not available). Best practices to improve workplace environment & working conditions. Retrieved 25 November 2011, from: [19]
  20. Eurofound (2009). Sweden – Work adaptation group. Retrieved 7 March 2013, from: [20]
  21. EIROonline – European Industrial Relations Observatory online (26 October 2009). Sweden: Industrial relations profile. Available at: [21]
  22. ILO – International Labour Organisation (29 May 2011). Sweden – Labour Inspection Structure and organization. Available at: [22]
  23. The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen, LO). Home page (no publishing date available). Retrieved on 24 June 2012, from: [23]
  24. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv) Home page (no publishing date available). Retrieved on 24 June 2012, from: [24]
  25. EU-OSHA – The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Preventing harm to cleaning workers, Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2008. Available at: [25]
  26. Eurofound (2009). Regional safety representative. Retrieved 25 November 2011, from: [26]
  27. Rubenowitz, S., Norrgren, F. & Tannebaum, A.S., ‘Some Social Psychological Effects of Direct and Indirect Participation in Ten Swedish Companies’, Organization Studies, EGOS, 4/3, 1983, pp. 243-259. Available at: [27]
  28. Wiklund, H.O., ‘Sweden: reginal safety representatives, a model that is unique in Europe’, HesaMag, 03, 2011. Available at: [28]
  29. Work Safe. (2005). Guide to right of entry by authorised representatives - A guide to Part 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. Retrieved 21 November 2011, from: [29]
  30. Adals Consulting. (2006). Measuring the effect of health and safety advisers and roving safety representatives in agriculture. Retrieved 6 October, from: [30]


Links for future reading

EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Worker representation and consultation on health and safety: An analysis of the findings of the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER), 2012. Available at:[31]

EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (undated). National focal points. Retrieved 7 March 2013, from: https://osha.europa.eu/en/oshnetwork/focal-points

Eurofound – European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Health and safety at work in SMEs: Strategies for employee information and consultation, 2010. Available at (retrieved 25 November 2012): [32]

Eurofound – European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Social dialogue and working conditions, 2011. Available at (retrieved 25 November 2012): [33]

Eurofound - European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Workplace employee representation in Europe, 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012, from: [34]

ETUI Worker participation (2013). Workplace representation. Retrieved 7 March 2013, from: [35]

Contributors

Klaus Kuhl