Occupational safety and health inspection

The Regional State Administrative Agencies’ Occupational Safety and Health Divisions strive to ensure that work in Finland is healthy, safe and fair. The most important part of our supervision work as the occupational safety and health authority is the occupational safety and health inspections.

The inspection work is guided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health which annually gives supervision guidelines to the Regional State Administrative Agencies’ Occupational Safety and Health Divisions. The purpose of the supervision guidelines is to standardise the control of occupational safety and health, improve the quality of occupational safety and health inspections, and increase the transparency of operations.

Control and support for development

We carry out occupational safety and health inspections mainly for business sectors where the risks are the greatest. We concentrate, among other things, on safety risks, management of overload and the minimum conditions of employment. In addition, our aim is to extensively inspect very different jobs from different fields.

The inspection is not just supervision but its objective is also to help the workplace to develop its occupational safety and health function and its work conditions. Through control measures, we seek to promoting co-operation between the employer and employees in occupational safety and health matters by, for example, giving instructions on the application of legislation in question and by bringing forward good practices. Such matters are also dealt with in the inspection that the representatives of the workplace wish to bring forward.

Observation and discussions at the workplace

Normally the inspector contacts the employer in order to arrange the time of the inspection. When there is a grounded reason as for the enforcement, inspections are also carried out without prior notice. The matters to be handled are provided in the inspection notification. Certain basic matters of the occupational safety and health as well as sector-specific risk factors are almost always handled.

Through the inspection, the inspector observes the working conditions on the basis of discussion and documents as well as visiting the workplace. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will explain how he or she assesses the work environment and what possible matters contrary to the occupational safety and health legislation are detected. In such cases, the inspector will issue written advice and improvement notices that are recorded in the inspection report. The remedy of defects that are serious or greater than minor will be controlled ex-post. If probable reasons to suspect a crime are detected in the control work, it will be our obligation to inform the police of the matter.