“Everyone is entitled to a healthy and safe work environment”
Hello there Peter Bergman, project manager within the alumni operations at the University Administration (GVS) and since June also new principal safety representative at GVS. Why did you want that job?
"A good working environment is a fundamental right and really important for well-being at work. It is inspiring to organize ourselves to make the workplace better together."
Peter Bergman likes to be the "at the heart of things". In addition, he is used to dealing with work environment issues at KTH from his years as a safety representative at the old unit and later for the entire Communication and Business Liaisons (CBL), as well as several years at other workplaces.
"I'm good at organizing things. The opportunity arose to take the next step for me and coordinate the overall safety representative work within the entire GVS," Peter Bergman says, adding:
"The Work Environment Act is strong, but not everyone actually knows what rights you have under the law and the requirements you can impose on your working environment."
All employees can contact their local safety representative for support in cases of specific problems in the working environment that are not acknowledged by the manager. According to Peter Bergman, the safety representative is always bound by professional secrecy.
A safety representative is not linked to the union, but is an independent party in work environment issues. Peter Bergman stresses that you do not need to be unionized in order to receive support from the safety representative.
"In my role as principal safety representative I support the local safety representatives within GVS, but also managers in being able to take their work environment responsibility," says Peter Bergman and continues:
"If a department does not have a local safety representative, I can also act in that role and thus step in and handle individual personal matters."
Key work environment issues within GVS
Psychosocial work environment issues are usually predominant within GVS, Peter Bergman notes. But there are also some issues in the physical environment to deal with, such as securing free escape routes and counteracting ergonomic problems. The presence of stress related to open and noisy open-plan offices is another example.
These days it is mainly the current pandemic that many people have in mind.
"Everyone has the right to feel confident that their workplace is designed in such a way that interaction with others can take place at a safe distance, to reduce the risk of infection. The working environment also includes the journey to and from work and when working from home," says Peter Bergman.
He stresses that it is important that managers are transparent, open and understanding to all the different concerns that employees have in these times.
"There is a need for more safety representatives within GVS and if you are interested in the role, please contact me. The more of us there are, the more we can work together to create change."
Words: Marianne Norén