Functions of the occupational safety and health authorities

Functions of the occupational safety and health authorities - Yleistä

The occupational safety and health authorities operate in five divisions, one at each Regional State Administrative Agency. Under the occupational safety and health divisions we enforce regional compliance with legislation and regulations on occupational safety and health. 

We also issue advice and guidelines concerning occupational safety and health and concerning the terms and conditions of employment relationships. 

In our capacity as occupational safety and health authorities, we have four duties:

  • we are responsible for occupational safety and health enforcement at the initiative of both customers and other authorities
  • we investigate the causes of serious occupational accidents, occupational diseases and work-related diseases and take action to prevent them
  • we engage in product control, and 
  • we contribute to the investigating of employment-related offences.

The Act on Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement and Cooperation on Occupational Safety and Health at Workplaces, also known as the OSH Enforcement Act, provides for a procedure to be followed by occupational safety and health authorities in monitoring compliance with provisions on occupational safety and health and on employment relationships. The Act also provides for a procedure on monitoring cooperation on occupational safety and health between employers and employees at workplaces.

We collaborate closely with employers’ and employees’ associations in occupational safety and health matters.

Enforcement steered by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

The Department for Work and Gender Equality of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health issues instructions on occupational safety and health supervision in order to ensure consistency in enforcement, improve the quality of occupational safety and health inspections and increase transparency in operations. The instructions are drawn up by Regional State Administrative Agencies’ Divisions of Occupational Safety and Health and the Ministry’s Department for Work and Gender Equality, in consultation with key stakeholders.

The vision for occupational safety and health supervision is described and strategic goals set for the work in a four-year framework programme called “Healthy work – framework programme for Divisions of Occupational Safety and Health from 2020 to 2023”. The strategic goals determine objectives for the four-year period as well as annual operative performance targets. Performance targets are documented in a national performance agreement signed by all Divisions of Occupational Safety and Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s Department for Work and Gender Equality. The 2020 performance agreement also sets out the targets agreed for the four-year period.

The objectives of the framework programme are based, above all, on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s strategy and the 2030 work environment and occupational safety and health policy, the government programme of the cabinet of Antti Rinne and labour market analyses (in Finnish).

Resources from previous years (in Finnish):

Functions of the OSH authorities - Muualla Tyosuojelu.fissä