What Is Safe and Not-so-Safe in Sweden

Be safety-conscious - How to be Swedish

Good news for you if you also prefer things to be safe. Sweden really is the right place for you.

Swedish safety-thinking can be found in many places. As in Swedish products. For example, have a look at IKEA’s assembly instructions – half of the pages are safety instructions, showing you how to install that shelf in a way it won’t tip over on your toddler. Yeah, those pages you usually skip reading.

Sweden and safety

Safe things from Sweden

A list of a few things that show diverse areas of Swedish safety thinking

  • Volvo, the Swedes’ most popular car brand, is known for its high safety standard
  • New buildings have fire alert and sprinklers and fire extinguishers almost everywhere
  • Not only children but also many grown up Swedes wear helmets when they ride their bike. Parents really make an effort trying be a good role model when it comes to safety
  • Political decision making: to be safe, Swedes have found that neutrality is a great way to not be involved in wars (for more than 200 years)

Swedes are so safety conscious, they even write safety instructions for reading safety instructions: “To avoid papercuts while reading this, consider wearing gloves”

Of course, I just made this up. But, hey, it wouldn’t surprise me if it really existed.

Book about Sweden - How to be Swedish

Not so safe in Sweden

The two areas Swedes are bad at when it comes to safety: elevators and sex

Yeah there are still elevators without the inside door. Get your shoe laces stuck in the door and your shoes are likely to be torn off your feed.

When it comes to sex Swedes take fewer precautions. No surprise than that the use of condoms isn’t as widely spread as chlamydia. Many Swedes avoid the use of condoms even in casual encounters. In 2007 the EU warned for a special type of chlamydia from Sweden, that even got the name “Swedish chlamydia”.

Essential equipment for being a “safe Swede”

The absence of using condoms is compensated by the use of a safety-item you can find in almost any Swedish wardrobe: the more and more popular”flexväst“, reflection vest.

To become a real Swede you must own one and put it on when you walk outside in the dark. Which, in winter is almost the whole day. This is necessary not to be killed in a car accident. It’s easier for drivers to spot you. This is very convenient in the north of Sweden where you have overwhelmingly more trees than lamp posts.

The uprising popularity of the flexväst has the effect that almost all Swedish pedestrians, in winter, look like Minions without trowsers

Safety at work in Sweden

Safety is the very important at working places as well. No one shall get home having a pain in the back or a nail between the eyes.

Just have a look at a Swedish construction side, everyone wears equipment that could protect them not only from minor injuries but potentially even from a little nuclear fallout.

Next time you pass a Swedish construction site, have a look at the workers there. They usually work in groups of four people, each with a different task. While only one does the actual work, the other three have to  …

  1. look around to protect him from approaching trucks and other heavy machinery
  2. talk to him to sure he’s not falling asleep or in a bad mood (it’s considered unsafe to work while being in a bad mood)
  3. hold the worker’s iPhone so it doesn’t get damaged by the moisture from sweat during during the physical working session

Don’t ask me why, but this system seems to work. Building are constructed in no time with often only a few casualties.

To avoid monotony, Swedish work groups introduced the system of job rotation at work.

Working in Sweden is likely to be more safe than staying in bed

So go ahead, my fellow new-Swede, be safe, get a job in Sweden – and a flexväst.

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