Several thousand people participated on October 18, when all work stopped for 15 minutes at many workplaces of Trafikverket. It is called stand down within the industry and is a demonstration for safety and working environment.
"Everyone must return home after a day's work at our workplaces", said Trafikverket's director-general Lena Erixon, who attended the project Marieholmförbindelsen stand down in Gothenburg.
It was a great feeling when all work stopped exactly at 13:00 at many of Trafikverket's workplaces across Sweden. The construction vehicles were quiet, tools were kept aside, and computers were idle. Several thousand people gathered at construction sites and offices to draw attention to safety.
Theme: Vehicles and machines
The gatherings started with a story about an accident at one of Trafikverket's sites. One of theses stories is about the 49 year old traffic warden Urban, who died when he was run over by a truck at a road construction in October last year. For Urban and the others, who were injured and died, a minute of silence was observed.
"We do this to honour our colleagues but also to create awareness. What risks are there in my work and how can I influence safety for myself and my colleagues?" says Karin Palmblad, Safety Manager at Major projects at Trafikverket and Project Manager of the stand down.
Of the serious accidents in the construction industry reported to the Swedish Work Environment Authority in recent years, one fourth are related to vehicles and machines. This was therefore the theme of this year's stand down.
The event has been growing
The stand down has been organised for the fourth consecutive year in Trafikverket. The activity started within the construction industry and takes place in cooperation with the Swedish Construction Federation and the Swedish Federation of Consulting Engineers and Architects. The parties have an agreement called "Together towards 0 accidents in the construction industry".