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Therése Reidevall. Photo: The Swedish Transport Administration
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“A good organisation culture permeates the work environment, from the office to the construction site”

We in the West Link: Therése Reidevall is work environment specialist in the project.

What is your background and how did you start working in the West Link Project?

I have previously worked in heavy industry, among others with spot welding. I learnt the true meaning of heavy work, and I saw how the work environment affected my colleagues, and the kind of risks and conditions we were exposed to. I decided there and then to continue with my studies in order to be able to influence the situation. I found my way into the quality and work environment sector, continued the studies to become a quality and environment manager, and took a course in production management. Since then I have worked as a quality and environment manager and a supervisor, among others. When I moved to Gothenburg I was offered a job as a work environment specialist at the Swedish Transport Administration, where I have been working since 2012 in the West Link Project.

What does your role in the West Link Project entail?

My main task is to make sure that the project meets all legal requirements and follows governing guidelines for the work environment activities prior to the construction of the West Link. I am involved in establishing the frameworks for how the work environment and safety activities are to be carried out in the project, which is an important part of the work associated with the procurement of the contractors who will build the West Link. I am also involved in the inspections, both generally within the construction work environment, as well as the contractors' work with the work environment. I am also available to provide support and advice within the area, and to document and distribute experience from previous projects.

Owing to the fact that I have worked both in the heavy industry and as a manager, I can relate both to those who work on the construction sites as well as to those in the office who draw up routines and write manuals about work environment. I have benefit from this in my role within the project.

What is the greatest challenge associated with the West Link Project from your point of view?

Even though I am the one with the title "work environment specialist", work environment questions are constantly coming up in a project and involve all employees. One of the challenges for me to sort out the parts about work environment within all the areas that we work in, and to compile them so that we can get the complete whole.

How do you solve this challenge?

Theme days are a good way of illustrating the fact that we are all part of the work environment activities. If everyone sees both their own and their co-workers' role, and the different parts of the work, we can create a good organisation culture. This makes it easier to cooperate, to discuss questions from different perspectives and to be able to internal solve challenges quicker. Having a good organisation culture is very important because of the fact that it permeates the safety work as well as the work environment, from the office to the construction site.

What is the most enjoyable part of your work?

The work environment questions are so incredibly important in this sector that they in fact involve heavy and difficult tasks for many people. Therefore, it feels very good to see everyone working alongside to create a secure and good work environment. Both for those who already are working with the West Link Project and for those who soon will begin.

What do you do in your spare time?

We have three children and a dog that take up a lot of my time, and then I have a passion for renovating old houses! It means there is a lot of fiddling around, planning and building going on at home in our house together with my husband. We've worked on quite a few houses over the course of time. I also like to work out at least once a week.

Is there much talk about the West Link Project in your leisure time?

No, not so much. If there is, it is mostly related to work environment issues in general.