Occupational health and accidents
The purpose of health examinations is to prevent illnesses and to monitor employees’ health and help them cope at work if their work capacity begins to decline.
The occupational health care service must give an employee a health examination when it is suspected that the employee’s work involves a health risk, for instance because of unbalanced physical loads or psychosocial overload. Health examinations also help support the prevention and early identification of substance abuse and referrals to treatment or support services.
If the employer notices that an employee’s work capacity has declined, he has the right (after discussing the employee’s declining work capacity with the employee himself/herself) to refer the employee to a health examination.
An employee must attend an occupational health care health examination if requested to do so by the employer for a justifiable reason.
An employee may also, at his/her own initiative and for a justifiable reason, request an occupational health care health examination to assess his/her work load.
The occupational health care service must regularly monitor the health of employees performing risk work
An employer is required by law to provide regular health monitoring for employees exposed to special health hazards in their work. These hazards are listed in the relevant Government Decree.
A monitoring requirement may also emerge from specific legislation concerning certain occupations or certain working conditions, or because of health risks discovered in the workplace survey. The health examination plan must be recorded in the occupational health care service plan.
When an employee is to begin performing work involving a special health hazard, a pre-employment health examination must be given to find whether the employee has any deformity, injury, illness or sensitivity which might be exacerbated by the work in question or which prevents that employee from performing that work at all. The employee's exposure to the health hazard is monitored through periodical health examinations to support the employee's work capacity.
If necessary, health and work capacity will be evaluated through measurements, performance tests or laboratory tests. The occupational health care service must also provide the employee with advice regarding the health hazards involved in the work and how to promote his/her own health.
The employer may offer health examinations beyond the statutory ones
An employer is required by law to provide periodical health examinations for employees only if the work being done involves a special risk of illness or other health risks.
An employer may also provide pre-employment health examinations and age-related health examinations through the occupational health care service even if the work being done involves no special health risks as defined in legislation.
The occupational health care service and the employer may plan measures to support employees’ work capacity and health on the basis of health examinations. Health examinations also allow the investigation of work-related illnesses, the prevention of symptoms and the promoting of the health, work capacity and functional capacity of employees. Health examinations produce information on working conditions and augment workplace surveys by generating information that supports maintenance of work ability.
The employer may also require that an employee, before beginning work, attend an occupational health care health examination and submit a statement issued by the occupational health care service concerning his/her suitability for the work at hand.