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Coordination in workplace risk management

When two or more organisations or employers share the same workplace, they must work together to provide safe working conditions.

The word “share” should not be interpreted too restrictively. Organisations located in the same locally delimited area are thus covered by the rules on shared workplaces.

The requirement for coordination is contained in the Work Environment Act, but other legislation also demands coordination: 

  • Fire safety management according to the Act on Protection Against Accidents.
    Read more about systematic fire safety management
  • The handling of flammable and explosive substances that produce explosive gases pursuant to the Act on Flammable and Explosive Goods.
    Read more about the handling of flammable and explosive goods
  • When the parties carry out activities at shared workplaces, they must jointly promote the protection of the external environment in accordance with the Swedish Environmental Code.

When should coordination in the workplace occur?

In a workplace shared by several organisations, one organisation can create risks for employees in the others. Every organisation has an obligation to ensure that their activities or facilities in the workplace do not expose anyone else working there to the risk of ill-health or accident.

Pursuant to the Work Environment Act, the responsibility for coordination in a workplace rests principally with the person in charge of the workplace. Even if the responsibility for coordination rests with one individual, all parties should consult and cooperate in order to ensure satisfactory safety conditions.

The responsibility for coordination only applies to the coordination of shared risks and is not an overall responsibility for the work environment of all organisations involved.

Coordination may be needed between organisations and facility management providers and property owners, but also between different departments sharing facilities. Coordination needs to take place between integrated organisations, for example between a department and another organisation within the department.

Person responsible for coordination

A person is selected to be responsible for coordination through the reallocation of duties according to the University’s template for this. Points 28-30 in the template deal with responsibility for coordination.

The template can be downloaded on the page Allocation of duties and responsibilities

Some examples of relevant duties include:

  • planning
  • organising collective protective devices 
  • ensuring someone is selected to be responsible for other necessary protective devices.

Building work environment coordination (BAS-P/BAS-U) is not normally included in the delegated duties, as it is the responsibility of the property owner.

The person responsible for coordination in the work environment should place signs in the workplace making clear who has the responsibility for these issues.

Download, fill in and print out a sign about work environment organisation (PDF, 1.2 MB, new tab)

How might coordination take place?

As a general rule, the agreement between the parties should be documented in writing, specifying if possible which premises/rooms it concerns.

The documentation should include information on how the joint safety inspections are to be carried out and the procedures to be followed. Risks in the organisations that have the potential to affect each other must be included in the documentation.

See the example template below for documentation of coordination between a department and a company operating in the department’s area.

Template for the documentation of coordination between a department and an organisation within the department’s area (Word 97 kB, new tab