SWEDEN: over 2.3 million euros for environmental and occupational health research

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To make a long-term contribution to a good working environment in private companies, municipalities and regions, with fewer accidents at work and health problems, Afa Försäkring is investing in research programs every year. Recently, SEK 28 million (over 2.34 million euros) were allocated to eight projects that will run until 2026:

  • Creating sustainable working conditions: as a result of high staff turnover and absenteeism in schools, care and social services, there are often shortcomings in the organizational and social working environment, and a lack of support from HR managers and employees to address them. A survey, observations and interviews with managers, HR staff, safety representatives and employees should provide insight into the planning, design and implementation of the initiatives taken.
  • Exposure to transport emissions in working life: the project aims to fill the knowledge gap on exposure to particulate matter following the rapid transition to electrification and new types of fuel with less impact on climate and health than diesel, for example.
  • Combating ethical stress among emergency personnel following the Covid-19 pandemic: this type of stress is experienced when a person is torn between various values, leading him or her to act in contradictory ways. During the pandemic, it may have contributed to an increase in the risk of making errors affecting patients, and to the exhaustion of nursing staff. The project involves raising staff awareness of ethical stress and developing a routine model for dealing with it.
  • Skin exposure to allergenic and toxic metals in steel and metal fabrication with a focus on additive manufacturing and cutting processing: survey (by questionnaire) on eczema and allergies, exposure, routines and protective equipment when working with cutting fluids and 3D printing in the industry. The results may contribute to a working environment where even people allergic to metal on contact can work.
  • Improving the quality of recovery for hospital managers: the project aims to determine whether a recovery program for front-line managers in the 24-hour care of two hospitals can promote staff recovery opportunities.
  • Quartz exposure and carcinogenic particles: the results should provide new knowledge on how quartz causes lung cancer, which may lead to lower limit values, a better working environment and reduced mortality in industries where quartz is present.
    Supporting managers in dealing with employees suffering from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety: in recent years, mental illness has been the most frequent cause of long work stoppages. Yet managers lack the knowledge and resources to support the person concerned. The project consists of a follow-up analysis of data already collected as part of a previous project.
  • Air sampling around patients with resistant bacteria: investigation of the presence of resistant bacteria in the air and on surfaces.

Allocations go to various players: universities, municipalities, research institutes, etc.

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