Risk assessments when returning to the workplace

This page contains information about risk assessments and measures to prevent infection when returning to the workplace.

On 29 September, the Public Health Agency of Sweden removed the recommendation to work from home and working at the workplace is now possible for all staff at Umeå University, according to a decision made by the Vice-Chancellor. Until 31 December 2021 a gradual return to the workplace takes place, which means a change for many members of staff.

Risk assessments when changes occur

The manager is responsible for the work environment of their staff. According to the Work Environment Act, risk assessments must be conducted when changes occur at a workplace. When returning to the workplace, managers are urged to investigate what risks exist at the workplace. When risks are identified, a plan of action must be drafted containing measures for a safe and gradual return to the workplace. Managers are also urged to follow up how the return to the workplace is going together with the employees.

For guidance on how to conduct a risk assessment and how to produce a plan of action, please read the information on the page Systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete in the HR Guide (in Swedish). You can also contact your nearest HR supportive function.

Prevent infection at the workplace

  • Investigate what risks exist and communicate the risk assessment to your employees.
  • Establish a plan of action to attend to identified risks.
  • Make it possible for staff to maintain distance to each other to the extent possible. Provide opportunities to prevent crowding and remind your staff about keeping distance.
  • Make it possible for staff who have symptoms of disease to work from home.
  • Follow up the return regularly together with your members of staff.

Individual risk assessment for staff in at-risk groups

For staff in at-risk groups, and who can prove this through a medical certificate, managers are urged to conduct an individual risk assessment. The purpose of the individual risk assessment is to identify potential work environment measures and needs for adaptation. Individual adaptations must primarily be temporary and not affect the university or other members of staff negatively.

Individual risk assessment for pregnant staff

According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, pregnant members of staff, who have not been able to work due to their work tasks requiring them to be present at the workplace, can return to the workplace again when the pregnant member of staff has been fully vaccinated. Managers are urged to keep dialogue with your staff and conduct an individual risk assessment to identify potential work environment measures and needs for adaptation.

Worries about returning to the workplace

Offer your members of staff your support and keep dialogue about how the work can be conducted safely. Also, inform your staff that those who need help with handling their worries can contact Feelgood for counselling.

Occupational health care services are experts

The occupational healthcare services Feelgood can be a good supportive function for managers in conducting risk assessments, providing guidance and advice regarding work environment measures and adaptation.

Contact Feelgood

Support for managers

To receive support in conducting risk assessments or establish a plan of action, please go to the page Systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete (in Swedish) or contact your HR supportive function.

No regulation for at-risk groups

On 12 October 2021, the Regulation for staff in at-risk groups and the use of protective equipment due to COVID-19 (FS 1.1-1461-20) expired due to changes in national regulations.

Anna Lawrence