Construction workers see fewer inspections

Sweden's work environment watchdog has made ten percent fewer inspections on construction sites over the past seven years, despite twice as many work-site employees since 2007, reported national radio station SR.

Construction workers see fewer inspections

In just five years, the number of construction site employees have doubled, and the number of construction companies have increased by 75 percent.

Ola Månsson, CEO of the Swedish Construction Federation (Sveriges Byggindustrier), believes today’s safety regulations are sufficient.

“The rules are all there: wear your safety vest, wear your helmet and your harness. It’s the work place attitude which has to be changed,” he told SR.

Even though the regulations are in place, he frequently sees them ignored. Helmets and other safety gear are regularly left unused.

“We want Sweden’s Work Environment Authority to enforce on-site controls, regular controls would be a major help for us,” Månsson said.

As the number of construction companies has sky-rocketed, fewer and fewer work place inspections are being performed by Sweden’s Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket).

The explanation is that the authority has received less money from the government.

“If you decrease our budget, we’re going to have fewer employees,” Mikael Sjöberg, head of the authority, said to SR.

Every month, on average, a construction site worker is killed in a work place accident in Sweden.

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Sweden fifth best country for trade: report

Sweden has been ranked the fifth most trade-friendly country in the world, according to a new report.

In a ranking of 121 economies by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Sweden claimed the fifth spot, just behind Scandinavian neighbour Denmark, and one spot ahead of 6th ranked Canada.

The rankings are based on a number of factors, including market access, infrastructure, efficiency of import-export procedures, and the regulatory environment.

The ranking cited Sweden’s “world-class” infrastructure and its “very transparent and efficient” border administration procedures.

The WEF also praised Sweden for the country’s favourable business environment.

But the organization also found that Sweden had room for improvement when it came to the ease of hiring foreign workers and in removing obstructions making it easier for new entrants to access the market.

Singapore and Hong Kong took the top two spots in the WEF ranking, while the United States came in 16th place due primarily to concerns about violence and the threat of terrorism.

The Switzerland-based WEF is an independent international organization committed to contribute to knowledge and solutions to global problems by gathering together corporate leaders and politicians from around the world.