Work environment & APV

Your employer is obliged to ensure that the working environment at your workplace is safe and healthy.

The workplace must support a healthy workplace, both in the physical surroundings and in the mental work environment, to make sure that the work can be carried out properly.

Contact Pharmadanmark´s legal department for personal guidance on working environment.

APV (workplace assessment) 
It is mandatory for all companies with employees to prepare a written APV (workplace assessment).

The APV must contain an assessment of the safety and health conditions in the workplace and is the company's tool for keeping track of the working environment.

By working systematically and efficiently with the APV, the company maps the working environment and identifies the areas where efforts are needed. Furthermore, the company can work to improve the working environment in various areas based on the APV.

An APV must be revised when there are changes in working methods and work processes, and the changes have an impact on safety and health. The APV must also be revised every three years.

Physical work environment can cover areas from ergonomics to temperature and smoking. Mental work environment can cover areas like psychosocial strains, relationships between coworkers, abusive actions and stress.
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The workplace must support a healthy workplace, both in the physical surroundings as well as the mental work environment, to make sure the work can be carried out properly and without risks.

Physical work environment covers areas from ergonomics to temperature and smoking. Mental work environment covers psychosocial strains, relationships between coworkers, abusive actions and stress.

It is mandatory for all companies with employees to prepare a written APV (workplace assessment).
The APV must contain an assessment of the safety and health conditions in the workplace and is the company's tool for keeping track of the working environment.
Read about APV

Physical work environment 
The physical surroundings for carrying out the work includes:

  • The size of your workplace
  • Ergonomically correct and individual setting of workplace - also relevant in relation to homework
  • How hot and cold it must be
  • How much noise there may be
  • Requirements for chemical and allergenic substances etc.

All these matters are regulated by the Danish Working Environment Authority (Arbejdstilsynet).
In general, the Danish Working Environment Authority recommends, for example, that for sedentary and stationary work it should not be below 18 ° C. If the outdoor temperature drops suddenly, or there are unfavorable wind conditions, the Danish Working Environment Authority accepts lower temperatures for a short period of time.
The Danish Working Environment Authority will also accept lower temperatures set by other authorities, for example when handling medicines in connection with production.

However, as many tasks as possible must be performed under normal temperature conditions.

The employer is obliged to contribute to a smoke-free environment to prevent harmful effects of passive smoking.
According to the law on smoke-free environments, smoking in the workplace is generally prohibited. However, the company may allow smoking in smoking cabins or smoking rooms.
It is also a requirement that the workplace has a written smoking policy, which clearly states if it is allowed to smoke in the workplace, and where smoking is allowed if allowed.

Mental work environment 
Many factors affect the mental work environment in the workplace. These can include:

  • The way the work is planned and organized
  • The organizational conditions of importance to the employees' work
  • The content of the work, including the requirements of the work
  • The way the work is performed
  • The social relations.

It is individual how we are each affected by the mental work environment, but in general it affects people negatively if the above conditions are not prioritized and in focus at the workplace.

Problems in the mental work environment can, if left unresolved, result in illness, stress, bullying and harassment.
Read more about abusive acts, bullying & sexual harassment. 

If you as an employee experience problems with the work environment, we recommend that you talk to your work environment representative (arbejdsmiljørepræsentant), as he/she has a duty to take care of both the physical and mental work environment. You are also always very welcome to contact Pharmadanmark´s Legal Department for further advice.

If you feel that you have been violated, do not doubt yourself. In relation to abusive acts, it is the person's own experience of the abusive acts that is central.
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Your employer is obligated to ensure that abusive behavior does not occur in your workplace.

The employer must therefore plan the work and implement effective measures that ensure that you as an employee can attend work without being negatively affected - neither
physically nor mentally.

Read more about physical & mental work environment

In workplaces where offensive acts have occured, the management and the employees / work environment organization must discuss concrete measures to deal with the violations and prevent any occurences, new or repeating.

What is an offensive act? 
Offensive acts are a collective term for bullying, sexual harassment and other ways in which violations can occur at work.

Offensive acts can be when one or more persons at the workplace grossly or repeatedly expose one or more people to bullying, sexual harassment or other degrading conduct at work. It can be both active actions as well as passive behaviour.

Offensive acts in relation to the work can be, for example:

  • Hurtful remarks
  • To be shouted at or ridiculed

  • Physical abuse or threats of abuse
  • Slander or exclusion from the social and professional community
  • Hostility or silence in response to questions or attempts at conversation
  • Impairment of employees' jobs, their work effort or their competence
  • Offensive written messages, text messages, pictures and videos - also on social media
  • Unpleasant teasing.

Who decides how serious it is?
It is a completely individual assessment whether you have been the victim of an offensive act or not. 

If you experience violation in one way or another, do not doubt yourself but report it. In relation to offensive acts, it is each person's own experience of the abusive acts that is key.

Documentation is always critical though, so talk to Pharmadanmark’s Legal Department about what documentation you need.

Whether the offensive acts are a risk to your safety or health depends on both the extent as well as the duration of the offensive acts. These may be isolated infringements of a particularly serious nature and/or infringements of a certain duration and frequency.

Bullying occurs when one or more people in a workplace regularly and over a long period of time - or repeatedly in a gross manner - expose one or more other people in the workplace to offensive acts. The actions must be perceived as degrading by the victim or victims.

However, the offensive acts only become bullying when the persons against whom they are directed are unable to defend themselves effectively against them.

In addition, bullying differs from other ways of violations as far as it is always the same person or persons who are systematically exposed to the offensive acts. Often it is also the same person or persons who are committing the abusive acts.

Offensive acts of sexual harassment 
The Equal Treatment Act defines sexual harassment as:
"Sexual harassment exists when any unwanted verbal, non-verbal, or physical behavior is exhibited with sexual undertones for the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity, particularly by creating a threatening, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or unpleasant climate."

Offensive acts of a sexual nature are all forms of unwanted sexual attention and may, for example, be:

  • Unwanted touches
  • Unwanted verbal urges for sexual interaction
  • Lewd jokes and comments
  • Irrelevant inquiries about sexual topics
  • View pornographic material.

Consequences of offensive acts
Offensive acts can lead to physical reactions such as headaches and pain, and mental reactions such as nervousness, difficulty concentrating and more. Offensive acts can - if they are of a serious nature and / or of a certain duration - lead to serious illnesses such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What can you do yourself? 
If you have the courage and ability in the situation to say no, it will by far be the best if you clearly mark that the offensive behavior is crossing your limit and cannot be tolerated.

However, you may find yourself not being able to say anything in the situation - perhaps because you are in a state of shock.

Either way, we would recommend that you talk to a trusted colleague and involve your immediate manager in what has happened. You can also talk to a union representative or your health and safety representative at your workplace about the violations.

We recommend that you save emails and other documentation that documents the offensive acts. In addition, it is a good idea to describe the events in writing in as much detail as possible.

We recommend also that you contact Pharmadanmark´s Legal Department if you need support and legal sparring in connection with offensive acts. We can help you by listening and together with you assess how to best deal with the offensive acts from here.

An occupational injury can have a major impact on your ability to work and affect your working life in several ways. Pharmadanmark has a number of options to help you if you should be injured at work.
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What is an occupational injury? 

An occupational injury consists of one of the following: an accident at work or an occupational disease.

An accident at work is typically a sudden injury in connection with the performance of one's work. Classic examples of work accidents can be, for example, that you have fallen down a ladder or have hit your head against a beam.

An occupational disease is usually something that has come over time. Since it arises over time, it can be difficult to determine if it is actually the work that has caused it.

Therefore, Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring (AES)  has a positive list of which diseases can be approved as occupational diseases.

Stress does not appear on this list. If a disease does not appear on the list, in practice it is often very difficult to prove that a disease is an occupational injury.

The classic examples of occupational diseases are known from construction and can be, for example, hearing loss due to noise, but allergies and asthma that are due to one's working conditions are also listed.

If the damage has occurred 

Please note that occupational injuries are subject to a separate chapter in the legislation, and Pharmadanmark's lawyers specialize in employment and employment law and not occupational injuries.

However, Pharmadanmark still has a number of options to help you if you should suffer an occupational injury, and as a starting point, you should always contact Pharmadanmark's legal department for a more detailed discussion of your specific situation.

If any occupational injury affects your current employment, it is very likely that we can help you in relation to your current employer.

If, on the other hand, the injury is more serious in nature, needs to be reported or is otherwise more complex, you may need to speak to an external solicitor.

Always contact Pharmadanmark before you go to your own lawyer, as our regular partner can take an initial talk with you, and possibly help you further as part of your membership.

Depending on the nature of the case and the specific circumstances, it can be the case completely handed over to an external lawyer. However, it will always depend on the specific circumstances of the individual case.

Long-term illness after occupational injury 

If your injury has affected your ability to work in the long term or is of a chronic nature, it may be that your form of employment must be adapted to the social chapter of the legislation.

This is a specialty in itself, and navigating this area can be complex, even if your municipality has a duty to guide you.

Pharmadanmark therefore has a collaboration with an external social worker who can help you if, for example, you need to apply for a flex job or perhaps even an early retirement pension. Just as they can help with a neutral assessment of the municipality's decision regarding your illness and ability to work, for example if you do not understand the municipality's decision, or perhaps think it is flawed.

Contact Pharmadanmark's legal department for a referral to a social worker.

An important part of the working environment is the extent of working hours. The working time regulations ensure that employees have sufficient rest and freedom to create a work–life balance
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An important part of the working environment is the extent of working hours. The working time regulations ensure that employees have sufficient rest and freedom to maintain work–life balance.

The 11-hour rule

Working hours must be organized so that employees have a rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours for each period of 24 hours.

If you, within a 24 hours period, work from 8.00 to 17.00, you must have a break at least until 4.00 o´clock in the morning. Then you are able to work again.

Weekly day off

Within each period of seven days, working hours must be arranged so that employees have a weekly day off. The day off must be placed in immediate connection with a daily rest period giving all employees a continuous 35 hours off from your work during a week.

The weekly day off must, as far as possible, fall on Sundays and, as far as possible, at the same time for everyone employed by the company.

The 48-hour rule

The average working time maintained for a period of a total of four months must not exceed 48 hours a week incl. overtime.

It is you as an employee who chooses the four-month period for which average working hours are to be calculated. It is important to be aware that you as an employee must be able to document working hours.

There are not many cases in relation to working hours during current employment, as matters are often resolved through dialogue if working hours over a longer period becomes a problem - both in terms of the agreed working hours, the scope of overtime and 48-hour rule. 

Contact legal department 
Phone: 39463605
Monday-Thursday 9.30 - 16.00
Friday 9.30 - 14.00