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Working environment

This section describes the most important working environment requirements within LKAB's operations. It is extremely important to comply with and respect these rules in order to prevent ill health and accidents.

Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment must be used in environments that have been ascertained as entailing a physical risk to the person. Personal protection must always be used based on the risks or applicable requirements that are present in the work area.

The following must be used in all production environments:

  • Safety shoes with protection against nails and steel toe caps.
  • Approved safety helmet with valid date marking and chinstrap adapted for the helmet (at least a 3-point attachment).
  • Full protective clothing that is highly visible. The minimum requirement, regardless of work duties, is jacket and trousers, shirt and trousers, or overalls. Clothing whose function may entail risks is unsuitable as outer garments. Examples include hooded sweatshirts, but also jewellery.

There are also specific requirements for protective equipment in various areas or in the event of various work duties within LKAB's operations:

  • Eye protection must be worn for all work where there is a risk that objects or substances can be harmful to the eyes. Complete eye protection (safety goggles) must be worn when working with corrosive substances as well as during grinding or cutting work.
  • Ear defenders must be used in noisy environments. The risks must be assessed before ear defenders with a built-in FM radio may be worn.
  • Protective gloves must be adapted according to the type of equipment, goods or substances to be handled.
  • Falling protection when working at height (normally > 2 metres).
  • Lamps with a burning time of a typical working day must be used in the case of underground work.
  • Respiratory protection must be used, based on the harmful substances and/or particles that are present in the environment (respiratory protection comprising a simple paper model is prohibited within LKAB).
  • Sealed protective overalls made of dust-repellent material with a fixed hood in the event of decontamination work.
  • Protective clothing in the event of electrical work in accordance with EN ISO 11612 and EN ISO 61482 arc (lightning symbol). This also applies in the event of work when there is no voltage.
  • Protective clothing in the case of hot work according to EN ISO 11611.
  • Hi-vis clothing when working where there is passing vehicular traffic (working on roads, in landfill areas, in inclined drifts, in open-cast mines, work by railways or equivalent) in accordance with EN ISO 20471.

The above points refer to commonly occurring work duties and protective equipment, and several different types of personal protective equipment may be appropriate depending on the work that is to be carried out. Legal requirements and assessed risks for the work will form the basis for supplementary personal protective equipment.


The responsibility for supplying the correct personal protective equipment for the work being carried out rests with the works management. Ensuring that the personal protective equipment is used in accordance with requirements and on the basis of implemented risk assessments forms part of the supplier's self-regulation.


In the event that radon levels above the reference level of 200 Bq/m3 are detected, the contact person must inform affected contractors. Radon exposure exceeding 0.72 MBqh/m3 must be reported to Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten (the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority) by LKAB. The contact person may provide instructions as to how radon exposure can be reduced.


The works management will be responsible for reporting to Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten if personnel are working in workplaces where radon levels exceed the reference level, working systematically to reduce radon exposure, risk assessments and remedial measures for reducing radon exposure and providing the contact person with relevant documentation in the event that radon exposure has been ascertained

Gas warning devices

Gas warning devices must be worn when there is a risk of gas exposure, for example exposure to CO and NO2. There is a risk of gas exposure during underground work when ore production or preparatory work is in progress, work in enclosed/restricted areas, temporarily heavily trafficked areas or where diesel-powered mechanical equipment (skylifts etc.) is being used. The risk of gas exposure can also be raised in other environments, based on assessments or occupational hygiene measurements.

The following applies:

  • Gas warning devices must be used where gas exposure can reach harmful levels.
  • The gas warning devices must be checked, calibrated and maintained continually.
  • Before starting work, the gas warning device must be started in fresh air before entering the area where gas exposure can occur.
  • The gas warning device must be turned on throughout the time work is being carried out.
  • If the gas warning device issues an alarm (flashing light and audio signal), the work must be stopped and the area must be left immediately until the gas levels have been investigated and the concentration has fallen to an acceptable level.
  • The Staff/Control centre/Control room decides whether and when the work may be resumed.


The works management must ensure that all individuals working in an area where there is a risk of gas exposure have access to calibrated and maintained gas warning devices. In the event of a gas warning, the works management must ensure that personnel have left the affected area. As soon as possible, the works management must report the risk/incident/accident to the appointed contact person. This person notifies the Staff/Control centre/Control room in order that they can send out information and rectify the problem, if necessary by means of evacuation and ventilation.

Personal monitors

There are environments in which people carrying out certain jobs can be exposed to substances such as radon, quartz, synthetic inorganic fibres and asbestos. For this reason, personal monitoring is performed for those groups that spend time in environments where there is an increased risk of exposure. If suppliers are covered by LKAB's monitoring, LKAB will supply the measuring instruments.

In the case of personal monitoring, the following applies:

  • Measuring instruments must be worn, handled and looked after according to the applicable requirements; they must only be worn in the monitoring area and be stored in a protected location when no work is being performed.
  • Measuring instruments must be handed in at a set interval.
  • Work rotation and working times must be planned so that the risk of over-exposure is minimised.


The supplier's works management is responsible for ensuring that its personnel wear, operate, look after and hand in measuring instruments in accordance with applicable requirements. If there is a risk of over-exposure, the supplier's works management is also responsible for planning working hours and, as far as possible, rotating personnel so that the risk of harmful exposure is minimised. If work is carried out in such environments where factors such as poor ventilation or large accumulations of water can increase the risk of over-exposure, the supplier's works management is also responsible for notifying the appointed contact person within LKAB about this, so that preventive measures can be implemented.

Work equipment

Work equipment refers to all types of equipment that are used in the work. Examples include forklift trucks, lifting implements, motors/units, valves and handheld machines.

The following applies:

  • All work equipment that is used in a job must be covered by the prepared risk assessment.
  • Work equipment that is covered by inspection requirements must be approved according to Swedish or Nordic standards.
  • If the equipment is fitted with a guard to prevent access, or other types of protective plates, in order to protect against personal injury, these must always be securely in place during use.
  • Equipment must always be checked (if necessary inspected) and maintained continually.
  • Equipment must generally be type approved (CE marked) unless there are specific reasons why this is not the case.
  • If equipment is pressurised and/or includes a pressure container, only accredited persons may make interventions.
  • Work equipment must be used for its intended purpose. For this reason, combat knives etc. are generally prohibited unless a special exemption has been granted by LKAB's safety committee. Applications for an exemption are submitted via the appointed contact person.

For individuals who work with forklift trucks or lifting devices and lifting implements, the following also applies:

  • Everyone who uses this type of work equipment must have valid training/certificate.
  • A personal operator's permit must have been prepared by the person's works management.
  • Inspections are approved and carried out on in-house/hired/borrowed work equipment. Only Swedish or Nordic inspections are approved; non-Nordic inspections are not approved.
  • The inspection report must be available at the workplace.
  • Self-propelled mechanical equipment, such as mobile cranes, that are used in production facilities or underground, are covered by demands for fire inspections, exhaust tests and, if their weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes, also automatic extinguishing systems. See also the section Vehicle requirements.
  • The user ensures that function and condition are checked before and after use.
  • It is necessary to ensure that those carrying out work can get to safety in the event of fire in the equipment or other emergency situation.


The works management must also conduct a systematic check to ensure that the above points have been satisfied.

It must be possible to verify the risks associated with use, and the fact that the personnel have the required training, expertise and permits.

Cordons and barriers

Cordons and barriers are erected to ensure that people passing or carrying out work in the vicinity are not exposed to risks. Examples of work where cordons or barriers are required include where there is a risk of falling/falling objects, the presence of harmful gases, substances or particles, as well as when lifting work is in progress.

The following applies:

  • Cordons/barriers must be executed in the form of e.g. a rope/flagline, and the cordon/barrier is supplied with a sign indicating the reason and who (incl. telephone number) has cordoned/shut off the area.
  • When there is a risk of stepping down or falling, a marked safety cover or railing must be erected. A foot rail and intermediate rails must be installed if the railing is erected directly adjacent to the falling area, in order to prevent stumbling as well as to stop objects falling to lower levels. If a hole is to be covered, covering (the protective cover) must be performed using a material that remains securely in place and that has sufficient bearing capacity. In addition, the location of the hole must be clearly marked out.
  • A cordoned/shut off area may only be entered if the person who has erected the cordon/barrier has approved this.
  • A cordon/barrier may only be removed by the person who has erected it. For a hand-over to be permitted, the area must first have been inspected visually, both by the party handing it over and by the recipient. A cordon/barrier may not be removed before the work area is safe and has been restored to its original condition.


The works management's responsibility is to determine, on the basis of the risk assessment, whether the work entails that a cordon/barrier must be erected. If this is the case, the cordon/barrier must be established in such a way that unauthorised parties cannot access the area from any direction. It is the responsibility of the works management to rectify matters if an incorrectly erected cordon/barrier is discovered, or if a cordon/barrier has not been removed after completion of the work.

Safety devices

A safety device is a physical guard, the purpose of which is to prevent people from being injured due to e.g. accidental contact with moving parts in machines, to prevent falling, to screen off a workplace or to enclose a source of contamination where air pollutants are being spread, etc. Examples of safety devices include guards, safety railings, etc.

The following applies:

  • A safety device must not be made inoperable or removed without a valid reason. In those cases where a valid reason to remove a safety device exists, it must be restored immediately after the measure has been implemented.
  • Anyone who acts in breach of this rule may be subject to personal criminal responsibility. A person who removes a safety devices is obliged to restore it.
  • If a safety device cannot immediately be restored, this must be reported to the works management, the area must be cordoned off and signs must be erected.


The works management must conduct self-regulation to ensure that the above points have been satisfied.

Work notification

A work notification, also known as a work order, can be issued either in writing via the appointed contact person or by telephone message when working underground and when working in hoisting facilities. When a telephone message is received, the recipient must write down and repeat the message in order for it to be deemed a valid work notification. The work notification can include specific requirements for execution with regard to safety.

The following applies:

  • Information relating to specific requirements must be communicated to employees before the work commences.
  • The work must not commence until the measures described have been implemented.
  • The work notification must be submitted to the control centre/control room/staff for a signature and to be stored before the work commences.
  • The work notification is retrieved from the control centre/control room/staff when the work has been completed and the area restored.


The works management is responsible for ensuring that the work is conducted in accordance with the above requirements, and for ensuring that the measures that are included in the work notification have been implemented.

Lockout & tagout

When performing maintenance on work equipment, it must be disconnected and locked so that the equipment cannot be started accidentally while work is in progress. Examples of work equipment include belt conveyors, mills, separators and pumps.

The following applies:

  • Make a risk assessment before beginning work. Always check what forms of energy (mechanical, pressure or electrical) are present in the equipment or in the risk area before starting work. The appointed contact person provides information about how and where Lockout & Tagout are to be performed.
  • Before starting work, all energy supplies must be disconnected and locked. Consider both direct-acting and stored energies.
  • Energy reconnection must be prevented by locking with a padlock and an approved sign stating that work is underway and the name, company and telephone number of the person who installed the padlock.
  • Before commencing work, anyone working with or near work equipment always have a personal responsibility for checking and ensuring that the equipment is disconnected, locked and has been supplied with a sign.
  • All parties working on the same piece of equipment must use their own padlock and information sign as described above.
  • If work cannot be completed right away and will cover more than one shift, the equipment must be locked and provided with a sign. This can be done with a lock shared by the group.
  • When the work has been completed, the lock and sign must always be removed.

The works management is responsible for ensuring that:

  • his type of work complies with the requirements above
  • if the energy supply has to be locked: ensure that people working with the equipment are familiar with the above requirement, have access to padlocks and approved signs, and that the specific risks relating to Lockout & Tagout have been communicated.

Working alone

Working alone encompasses those types of jobs where a person performs work on their own, where nobody is close enough to identify a danger or to rescue the person in an emergency.

The following applies:

  • In the case of working alone, it must be possible to contact other people. This can be arranged by means of a technical solution such as a mobile or fixed line phone, a communication radio or by another person regularly visiting the person who is working alone.
  • Only Swedish-speaking or English-speaking individuals may work alone, to safeguard communication with the outside world.
  • If work has been assessed as being risky or dangerous, the person must have the potential of receiving rapid assistance. If this cannot be satisfied, the work must not be carried out unless another person is present throughout the execution of the work.


The works management is responsible for ensuring that the staffing level is tailored to the risks that the work entails, and that people who carry out work alone have regular contact with other personnel.

Working at height

Working at height normally includes all work that is carried out more than two metres above ground level.
Work that is less than two metres above ground level may also be counted as working at height, based on the risks involved in the work.

The following applies:

  • In the first instance, the risk of falling must be prevented by installing safety railings and/or approved scaffolding. However, safety scaffolding is only approved if a certified scaffolding contractor has erected the scaffolding and posted an approval certificate.
  • In the second instance, an approved work platform must be installed for the work.
  • If, for some reason, it is not possible to install safety railings, scaffolding or work platforms, work is permitted from a work basket, work pallet or ladder.
  • Ensure that those carrying out work can get to safety in the event of fire in the equipment or other emergency situation.
  • When working from a work basket, personal fall protection must always be used.
  • All those who participate in the implementation of work that entails lifting personnel must have a permit and be trained for the work. Lifting personnel may only be carried out for temporary work.
  • In the event of work carried out from a scissor platform, it is not necessary to use a fall harness, although there must always be fixed fall protection here i.e. safety railings. If the safety railings are folded down, personal fall protection must be used.
  • It is not permitted to climb out of the work basket/platform etc. except in locations intended for climbing on and off, nor to use the equipment as an access route.
  • If there is a risk of a person being suspended from a fall harness for more than 20 minutes, efforts must be ensured to rescue the individual. The person who carries out personal rescue work must be available at the workplace and have received training.


The role of the works management in the event of working at height is primarily to plan the safety measures before the work commences and to ensure that the measures are implemented. Personal lifts and work from pallets and ladders are only permitted in exceptional cases, which means that other solutions must be investigated first. Working at height entails several specific risks, and for this reason these risks must always be included in the risk assessment for the work.

Hot work

Hot work includes work with tools that can give rise to sparks. Examples include welding, soldering, cutting or grinding discs and, in particular environments, work with a heat gun. Hot work must be planned and carried out to minimise the risk of fire and exposure to smoke.

When machining stainless steel and aluminium, gases are formed that are carcinogenic and allergenic and that can affect the nervous system. In the event of hot work, for example on painted surfaces, isocyanates can be given off, which are highly toxic. In such cases, specific measures must be implemented to minimise exposure. Examples of measures include restricting access to the area, installation of smoke extractors and the use of breathing masks.

The following applies:

  • The risks that are covered by hot work must be assessed and measures must be implemented to prevent fire in the work area.
  • The person who is going to be conducting or organising hot work must ensure that the work is planned and carried out in accordance with established rules.

  • All personnel who perform hot work must have valid certificates from Brandskyddsföreningen (Swedish Fire Protection Association) or Brandfarliga Arbeten and must be able to verify this with identification.


The role of the works management is to ensure that all personnel who carry out hot work have training and a valid certificate, and to ensure that permit issuers are available for the work. Before starting work, the person responsible for the facility/area/project/property must have given their approval and the Swedish Fire Protection Association's checklist for hot work must be filled out.

Welding work

The following applies:

  • When welding indoors, the smoke that is generated must be prevented from spreading, in the first instance by means of permanently installed ventilation devices adapted to the operation.
  • If the work is temporary in nature and carried out at temporary workplaces, a mobile welding extractor may be used. However, mobile welding extractors have a very limited capacity and generally only move harmful gases to a larger exposure area.
  • When welding stainless steel, aluminium, galvanised and painted surfaces, ventilation extractors must always be used. Fumes associated with this type of welding must always be routed out of the work premises. If this cannot be performed adequately, further measures must be implemented to prevent exposure. The person carrying out the work is protected against exposure by using a compressed air-fed fresh air mask, a fan-fed mask or some other equivalent solution.
  • If the work entails a risk of others being exposed to welding fumes, signs and, if necessary, cordons must be put up to prevent exposure.


The works management is responsible for ensuring that its personnel have the correct equipment. Based on the nature of the work, ventilation devices, compressed air masks and smoke extractors must be available. The risks associated with the work must be assessed before commencing work. In the assessment, particular attention must be paid to whether surrounding personnel are exposed to fumes or particles.

Handling gas

There is an established plan for each facility in respect of inspection and monitoring of gas equipment. Always request information from the appointed contact person regarding what applies for this procedure. When working on construction projects, this information must be included in the workplace outline plan. Deviations and deficiencies regarding the handling of gas lead to people in the area being exposed to serious risks. In the worst case scenario, this can impede a rescue effort in the event of a fire or emissions.

The following applies:

  • The function of the gas equipment must be checked continually (backfire barrier, non-return valves, condition of the gas bottle, gas trolley, etc.).
  • Inspections must take place according to the requirements. Valid inspection marking must be present on the gas bottles to make it possible to check/ensure that the condition of the gas bottles is OK.
  • Gas bottles must always be kept upright, with support that prevents them from tipping over, both during ongoing work and during storage.
  • Lifting may only take place using special gas carts that are approved for lifting.
  • At the end of the working day, all valves must be closed fully and the gas bottles transported to a marked and approved location for storage.
  • LPG bottles may never be left unattended or left in a production facility or underground.


The works management is responsible for ensuring that gas is handled, checked and stored in accordance with these requirements.

Enclosed, restricted areas

Enclosed, restricted areas refer to areas where:

  • Toxic and/or explosive gases or fumes can accumulate.
  • The oxygen concentration may be too low or high.

The following applies:

A written work notification is issued by the person who is responsible for the facility (facility owner or maintenance manager).
The specific risks entailed by working in enclosed/restricted areas must be assessed and rectified/reduced before commencing work.


The works management that has personnel carrying out work duties of this type must give particular consideration to the environment where the work is to be carried out. Ensure e.g. evacuation in the event of emergencies, i.e. that warning instruments regarding the presence of chemical substances or the lack of oxygen warn the individuals carrying out the work. This must be included in the work's risk assessment.

Electrical work

Electrical safety work must always be conducted in such a way as to prevent accidents, property damage and operational disruptions.

The following applies:

  • When electrical work is to be carried out, the expertise and experience of the personnel must always be sufficient and demonstrated.
  • Responsibility must always be made clear (organisation, job description and delegation must be up-to-date and correct).
  • All electrical work must be planned and carried out safely in accordance with legal requirements and regulations (e.g. the high current regulation).

In addition to the Work Environment Act, this work is covered by separate requirements and the works management therefore needs to have a good insight into the risks that the electrical work entails. In the event of an emergency, the way it is to be dealt with must be clarified before commencing work.


The works management must specifically check electrical expertise, division of responsibility and assess the risks based on the nature of the work, as well as actions in the event of emergencies, which must also be included in the work's risk assessment.