Every students’ union at SLU must have a student health and safety representative. The health and safety representative has an important role as the link between the students and the university in working to achieve a good study and working environment.
What does a student health and safety representative do?
The student health and safety representative is the students’ representative at meetings where the working environment at SLU is discussed, such as the regional working environment committees. The health and safety representative can take part in health and safety inspections of the teaching premises and can be the one who reports shortcomings which the students wish to make known.
However, the student health and safety representative has no responsibility for the working and study environment itself. This responsibility lies with the faculty or equivalent which coordinates the course, with the prefect or equivalent as the responsible manager.
What can I do?
If there is anything in the working and study environment that you think could be improved, talk to the course coordinator in the first instance and report any shortcomings in the course evaluations. If you think that your department is listening to you or if the matter is of a more general nature, such as communal teaching premises, you can contact the student health and safety representative for your study venue/study programme.
You will find e-mail addresses for the unions’ student health and safety representatives listed under “Contact” in the menu on the left. The health and safety representatives usually change every year, so you may need to contact the students’ union to find out the latest information and name.
What does SLU do?
It is important to SLU that students and employees have a good working and study environment. Work on the working environment takes place partly at local level through departmental cooperation groups and partly in four regional working environment committees (RAK):
- Alnarp (also covers Flyinge)
- Uppsala (also covers Skinnskatteberg, Strömsholm and Grimsö)
- Umeå (also covers Wången)
At university level, there is a central working environment committee (SLU-AK) lead by the Vice-Chancellor and with representatives from the four regional working environment committees. More information about SLU’s working environment work can be found on the staff web. (Only information in Swedish.)
Each year, SLU organises half-day training for the unions’ student health and safety representatives, which covers the most important elements of working environment legislation and how to work as a student health and safety representative.
What does the law say?
The Swedish Working Environment Act also applies to students. The exception is that the student health and safety representative does not have “stop rights”, in other words they do not have the right to stop a dangerous activity, which an employee health and safety representative does have. The employer (SLU) must carry out systematic working environment work in consultation with the student health and safety representative, the employee health and safety representative and the trade unions.
The Swedish Working Environment Act applies to both the physical and psychological working environments. The employer must take measures to prevent health problems and accidents, provide instruction to students and employees in order to avoid risks, maintain premises, machinery and safety equipment, and investigate injuries at work.