Occupational safety and health inspection
Occupational safety and health inspection - Yleistä
The Occupational Safety and Health Divisions of the Regional State Administrative Agencies strive to ensure that work in Finland is healthy, safe and fair. As the occupational safety and health authority, the most significant part of our enforcement work is occupational safety and health inspections. In 2021, we carried out some 20,500 inspections.
Inspection activities are steered by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The Ministry will issue instructions to the OSH Divisions on supervision tasks, implementation of legislation and procedures. Policies have been compiled into instructions on enforcement for the purpose of improving the consistency of OSH enforcement and the quality of occupational safety and health inspections as well as increasing transparency in operations.
Different inspections for different workplaces
The purpose of the inspections is primarily to monitor compliance with occupational safety and health legislation. The object of an inspection is usually a place of work with one or more employers. An object of inspection can be e.g. a specific machine, an automation line, or a professional group. We also carry out enforcement in the form of remote inspections via a meeting application and document checks on the basis of written material.
When selecting inspection objects, we take into account the observations made during previous inspections. When deciding on how to target inspections, we utilise resources such as our enforcement data system, operating environment analyses, other authorities' registers, research data and contacts from customers and stakeholders. For information on the actions to be taken on the basis of the contacts, see page Processing of enforcement requests.
We carry out occupational safety and health inspections mainly in sectors where occupational safety and health risks are the greatest. We concentrate on safety risks, workload management, and minimum working conditions, among other things. We also strive to extensively inspect a wide range of workplaces in different sectors. We also implement enforcement campaigns and projects during which inspections focus on predefined workplace phenomena.
In addition to enforcement, we offer support for development
The purpose of an inspection is not only to supervise, but also to develop occupational safety and health activities, working conditions and safety management. The aim is permanent improvements at the workplace.
When we take enforcement measures, we aim to promote cooperation between the employer and employees in occupational safety and health matters, for example by providing guidance on the application of the legislation that we enforce and by highlighting good practices. Inspections also deal with any issues that workplace representatives wish to raise.
For more detailed information please see the Progress of an occupational safety and health inspection and Inspection report pages.
Cooperation between the authorities
When necessary, we will also carry out joint inspections with other authorities. Such partnering authorities include the police, tax authorities and fire and rescue authorities. During joint inspections, each authority's representative supervises the site in terms of its own competence.
If we notice any probable grounds for suspecting an offence while carrying out enforcement activities, it is our duty to inform the police.