Systematic work environment management

Systematic work environment management, or SAM for short from the Swedish term, gives you guidelines and tools showing how you as a manager should work with work environment issues in everyday situations.

The aim of systematic work environment management is for employers to work preventively and implement measures to ensure that employees are not injured, made ill or otherwise harmed.

SAM enables employers to

  • detect and address risks in good time
  • promote good working conditions, combat stress and prevent unnecessary sick leave
  • contribute to a better financial situation for the organisation through good working conditions
  • create order and structure in the organisation
  • promote well-being, commitment and good performance

In your role as an employer, you should provide opportunities for health and safety representatives and employees to be involved in all aspects of the SAM work.

The various stages of SAM

The four steps of SAM are: investigate, conduct a risk assessment, take action and monitor implemented actions.

1. Investigate the work environment

Conduct continuous identification of risks – both physical and psychosocial. Determine which of the rules in the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s provisions that apply to your business. Investigation and analysis can be done through safety rounds, employee surveys, performance reviews and workplace meetings.

2. Assess risks

On the basis of the survey, the employer must make a written assessment of the risks that exist and whether they are serious. The same applies to changes in operations. The assessment should determine whether any of the staff, both employees and contractors, are at risk of ill health or accident at work.

As a manager, it is important that you have knowledge of the impact of physical, organisational and social factors, so that you can make accurate risk assessments. Make sure you receive training if you need it.

3. Implement measures

Address the risks directly or include them in an action plan. The plan must specify what is to be done, who is responsible and when the measures are to be completed by.The ranking of priorities is determined by the severity of the risks.

When the risks are serious and cannot be avoided, there must be written instructions as to how the work should be performed.

4. Monitor

Continuously monitor the actions that have been implemented and their impact. If the measures have not been effective, they need to be supplemented.

Establish a procedure for work environment management

To systematise and integrate work environment management, you need to create procedures for it. Ensure that you routinely pick up on work environment aspects in all your activities.

After the fourth stage, work starts again at stage one, and continues on an ongoing basis as conditions change and new risks are identified.

Written documentation

The work environment policy, procedures, allocation of tasks and annual monitoring of systematic work environment management must be documented in writing in all companies with ten or more employees. Prevent (Swedish) and Suntarbetsliv (Swedish) provide tools that you can use.