Occupational safety and health obligations
The performance of certain jobs require a licence or the employer must submit a notification on these to occupational health and safety authorities. Occupational health and safety authorities also enforce the implementation of occupational safety.
The performance of certain jobs requires authorisation or a certificate of competence granted by occupational safety and health authorities. This type of work include asbestos removal and underwater construction work.
If you intend to have your employees perform night work or shift work and this is not based on law or a collective agreement, you will need to apply for a special permit from the occupational safety and health authority. You will also need a special permit of your company wants an exemption from maintaining a shift list or intends to employ a young person or a child for certain work.
Before the occupational safety and health authority makes a decision on the special permit, make sure the shop steward for your employees has the opportunity to be heard either orally or in writing. If the workplace does not have a shop steward, make sure that your employees’ occupational safety and health representative has the opportunity to be heard. If the workplace does not even have an occupational safety and health representative, make sure that the employees to whom the matter applies have the opportunity to be heard.
Before starting any work, notify the occupational safety and health authority of construction and asbestos removal work as well as if you have employed 16-17-year-olds for dangerous work.
If you are asking your employee to perform emergency work, you must immediately submit a written notification of the reason for the work, its extent and probable duration. Remember that emergency work is only allowed if an unforeseen event has caused or is threatening to cause an interruption in your company’s operations in a dangerous manner and the work cannot be moved to a later time.
If your company has employees who are exposed to substances or methods that can cause cancer, submit an ASA notification annually. Also add these employees to the ASA register. Also submit an ASA notification for substantial single-time exposure, for example in the event of an accident.
If a workplace accident takes place in your company that leads to a death or serious injury, notify the police, occupational safety and health authorities and your insurance provider immediately. Also submit a notification if one of your employees does or becomes seriously disabled due to an occupational disease that they developed while working for your company.
OSH cooperation refers to cooperation in occupational safety and health and is regulated by the Act on Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement and Cooperation on Occupational Safety and Health at Workplaces and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It applies to all workplaces regardless of their size or sector. In practice, it means that the employer and employees together engage in activities that will maintain the safety and healthiness of the workplace and the work ability of employees.
It is important that during OSH cooperation the effects that changes to facility arrangements, machines and the organisation itself will have on working conditions and well-being in the workplace are considered. Also discuss whether changes need to be made to occupational health services.
The occupational safety and health manager is responsible for the organisation of OSH cooperation. If at least ten people are regularly employed by the workplace, the employees will appoint a representative from among themselves to act as their occupational safety and health representative. If the workplace regularly employs at least 20 people, an occupational safety and health committee must be established in which both the employer and employees have representatives.
Submit the names of your company’s OSH cooperation representatives and other necessary information into the Centre for Occupational Safety’s electronic occupational safety and health register.
Occupational safety and health authorities meaning the Occupational Safety and Health Divisions for Regional State Administrative Agencies enforce occupational safety and health. The enforcement is mainly implemented in the form of occupational safety and health inspections at workplaces.
Inspection visits are generally focused on providing guidance and support for your company’s occupational safety and the development of working conditions. In extreme circumstances, if necessary, the inspector can prohibit work that causes immediate danger to life or health.
An occupational safety and health inspector will usually give prior notification of their inspection visits and matters that will be inspected. However, an inspector may also arrive for an inspection unannounced.
Occupational safety and health enforcement tends to focus first and foremost on companies in sectors where occupational safety risks are the greatest. Inspections are also carried out by theme as well as on the basis of feedback from workplaces and organisations.
If any defects are observed in your company’s occupational safety matters during the inspection, you must correct these within the timeline specified by the inspector. If you do not correct these defects, your company may be ordered to pay fines.