Effects of Workplace Regulations

The Swedish Agency for Work Environment Expertise has initiated a project where the consequences of workplace regulations will be investigated in a literature review. The purpose of this compilation is to map and consolidate research on workplace regulations, their impact, and how they are implemented in workplace practices.

Particular emphasis will be placed on what promotes and what hinders workplace regulations from contributing to a safe and healthy work environment. By examining how the rules are enforced and the conditions that affect this, the compilation will be valuable for policymakers, authorities, and workplaces in their systematic work on occupational safety. The knowledge compilation will also serve as support for HR personnel, safety representatives, and other elected officials in workplaces.

In a previous knowledge overview from 2016, the lack of Swedish studies examining the consequences and prerequisites for workplace regulations in occupational safety work was highlighted. This indicates a lack of clarity regarding how different rules and instruments function in practice.

The compilation represents an update of the state of knowledge, primarily in a Swedish context. Karin Sjöberg Forssberg, the lead analyst for the project, explains that, among other things, a gender equality perspective will be considered. Any differences between different groups of women and men will be highlighted and analysed from a critical perspective. For example, studies can be classified based on whether the industries examined are predominantly female- or male-dominated.

Two tasks capture a broader perspective

The Swedish Work Environment Authority is also monitoring and evaluating the effects of the legislative changes that came into force on July 1, 2014, where more workplace and working time regulations are combined with penalty fees instead of fines. This evaluation will be presented in March 2024. To better understand the impact of the legislative changes, we are complementing our ongoing evaluation of penalty fees with a compilation of research on workplace regulations in Sweden and Europe.

The effects of workplace regulations will be presented in a literature review around the turn of 2024-2025. The researchers appointed for the task are Professor Christian Ståhl, Associate Professor Cathrine Reineholm, and Lecturer Daniel Lundqvist, all from Linköping University.