You could say that the role of the safety representative is to "watch over" that the employer manages its responsibility for the physical and psychosocial work environment. Broadly speaking, it is about helping employers to make wise decisions on health and safety issues, and on issues that in one way or another may have consequences for the working environment, by representing employees and promoting their perspectives.
As a safety representative, you are not responsible for the work environment, it lies with the vice-chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor then further delegates responsibility for implementing the tasks and routines that exist within the framework of the systematic work environment management (SAM) out into the organization. Your immediate manager with personnel responsibility, e.g., head of department, head of department, is thus responsible for performing those tasks.
In this work, your manager should cooperate with you and involve you in the work throughout the process. As a safety representative, you have the right to participate and influence your and your colleagues' work environment. You get the opportunity to do this by being involved in the planning and follow-up of work environment management.
Some more concrete examples where the safety representatives should participate in dialogue with the employer:
- When planning changes such as new premises, equipment, work processes and working methods.
- When planning new work organization/change in work organization.
- When drawing up action plans regarding measures to prevent accidents/risks in the working environment.
- During safety rounds where you go through the business together and make a risk inventory of the physical and psychosocial work environment.
As a safety representative, you must be offered courses - see the Competence Portal. One of the courses is "What is a good working environment. What does the law say?" This is given in collaboration between the employer, the trade unions' chief safety representative, the university's work environment engineer and the occupational health service.
The University's activities are divided into a number of main protection areas. For each main protection area, there must be a main safety representative and deputy. The chief safety representative is chosen by the safety representatives in each area. The role of the chief safety representative is to coordinate the activities of the safety representatives and serve as a sounding board and support for them. If a difficult situation arises, it is to the main safety representative that you should turn for support and help. There are also three chief safety representatives at Lund University, one from each trade union. The chief safety officers coordinate, support and help the chief safety representatives, participate in training and plan for long-term safety work. Sometimes, however, it may also be necessary for the chief safety representatives to step in as support and interlocutors to the safety representatives.