Convenient system for systematic work environment management

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Afa insurance offers a proven, free system for systematic work environment management and deviation reports. Over 2,500 companies are already using it in about 30 different industries and the SAN board believes it could be useful for the shipping industry too.

The system is called IA, an abbreviation for information systems in the work environment. It has two main areas of use: the first is for reporting deviations and accidents and processing them systematically and the second is for preventive work environment management such as safety rounds, risk analysis and work environment changes.

“This is a system for systematic work environment management,” says Lars-Gunnar Lindberg, Head of Unit at Afa Insurance. “But it also plays an important role in raising quality and increasing efficiency by removing distractions at work.”

“Deviations are reported directly to the system using a mobile phone app. The person reporting answers some simple questions about the incident and sends off the report, which then goes to the manager whose job is to supplement information about the incident and ensure that the case is processed. The case cannot be registered as solved until the issue is rectified.”

Pelle Andersson, ombudsman for SEKO Seafarers and member of the SAN board, can see many advantages to the IA system.

“The system has a simple, clear process which ensures that incidents reported are processed,” he says. “Normally, cases have a tendency to remain stuck in the safety committee minutes, but the IA system forces people to deal with them.”

Large amounts of statistics
Based on the information that is fed into the system, a large amount of industry-specific statistics and other data are generated, all of which are anonymized. These could relate to frequently occurring accidents or certain departments which are particularly accident-prone. Users can also search for proposals to solve problems.

“You get a very good overview of your company and your sector using this system,” says Lars-Gunnar Lindberg. “It is also possible to read statistics from other sectors, but then there must be an agreement on the exchange of information between organisations. This is not something that the system itself provides.”

IA is a shared system which has been used since the end of the 1990s. Its origins were in the paper industry, where a number of companies decided to collaborate on work environment problems. The system has evolved since then and several different sectors have joined, including Swedish ports, hotels and restaurants, the steel industry and municipalities and regions.

“We have built up this system over a long time. It has no teething troubles or faults and we have compiled large amounts of shared data,” says Lars-Gunnar.

Language adaptation
The system is free of charge. Afa insurance also takes care of updates, maintenance and training. There are two requirements for a sector that wishes to use the IA system: a formal declaration of intent in which the parties state that they wish to be affiliated and language adaptation so that the system can be harmonized for the sector in question.

“It is also an advantage to know in advance that there are other companies in the sector which are interested in using the system, but it is not a requirement,” says Lars Gunnar.

Pelle Andersson believes that many shipping companies could benefit from an IA system, and SAN could be responsible for the initial work with language adaptation.

”Yes, we could manage that,” he says.

Linda Sundgren

Would you like to have an IA system in the shipping sector?
Do you work in a shipping company or on a ship which would be interested in using a maritime IA system? If so, contact Lars Andersson, SAN chairperson, at or +46 (0)31-629539 and register your interest.

You can read more about the IA system at

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