Published: 25-09-2015 12:39 | Updated: 25-09-2015 12:41

Four questions about KI’s Work Environment Prize

It will soon be time to select the winner of the work environment and health prize that was founded at Karolinska Institutet last year. One of the main aims of the prize is to promote a healthy psychosocial work environment, says Professor Karin Dahlman-Wright, who nominated the very first winner. New candidates can be put forward by KI employees up until 21 October.

The 2014 prize winner was toxicologist Dan Segerbäck, now retired from the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition. Back then, Professor Karin Dahlman-Wright was head of department there, but she is now vice dean of infrastructure at KI.

Why did you nominate Dan Segerbäck?

“The work environment is one of the most important issues facing a department, and having a person with the necessary commitment and competence able to take his own initiative, like him, was a great support for me when I was head of department. As a toxicologist Dan Segerbäck, who’s retired now, was very knowledgeable about issues relating to the physical laboratory environment, but he also worked a lot with psychosocial matters.”

What have you done with the SEK 30,000 prize money that the department was awarded?

“We’ve been discussing a more advanced further training programme for the work environment group because the people working with these issues need to update their knowledge and because it’s stimulating to meet others involved in the same issues. Another idea is a course in heart and lung resuscitation for the staff. A third proposal is to put the money into health promotion lectures in English so that we can also engage the many English speakers we have working here.”

Have you checked out other work environment role models at KI who deserve this year’s prize?

“Not specifically, but I think people who are really passionate about these issues and take their own initiatives, preferably with a focus on the psychosocial work environment, are worth looking at.”

What’s your greatest wish right now?

“I’d like to see the work environment treated with the status it deserves and be an attractive area to work in. We can’t just conduct excellent research and education, we have to look after the work environment too. The one needs the other.”

Text: Karin Söderlund Leifler