Processing of enforcement requests

Processing of enforcement requests

We target occupational safety and health inspections to workplaces mainly on the basis of annual objectives on enforcement outlined in performance agreements. We also carry out inspections on the basis of contacts from employers, occupational safety and health officers, employees or other personnel.

What kind of requests lead to action?

When we receive a notification that the workplace is suspected of violating legislation and that there is an immediate risk to life or health, we will carry out an inspection without delay where possible. We will urgently investigate any occupational accidents that have led to death or severe injury.

Serious occupational accidents will be investigated urgently.

In the case of other notifications and requests, the need for supervision and an appropriate approach are determined on a case-by-case basis. We undertake measures in the case of appropriate notifications and requests that fall within the competence of the occupational safety and health authority. In some cases, instead of conducting an inspection, we can e.g. give advice on the interpretation of legislation.

The notifier is informed of the measures that  their contact will lead to. The identity of the notifier and the fact that the control measure is carried out on the basis of the notification shall be kept secret. However, we can reveal the identity of the notifier to the employer if this is necessary for supervision and the notifier gives written consent to it, for example, by means of a enforcement request form. These cases often include matters such as employment relationships, harassment and discrimination, which cannot be monitored because of their nature without the disclosure of the notification. 

What types of requests do not in general lead to action?

In general, we do not undertake enforcement measures if a long period of time has elapsed since the suspected negligence, the cause is no longer apparent or there is reason to suspect that enforcement measures will not have a material impact on the issue. If the negligence has become obsolete in criminal law, the individual case will not be investigated. Even in cases where negligence is becoming obsolete under criminal law, it is not appropriate to investigate the matter. Nor will we take enforcement measures in situations where a previous notification has been made and the new notification does not reveal any new essential information.

The duties of occupational safety and health authorities do not include for example the calculation of or applying for outstanding wages.

If we do not take enforcement measures in the matter that has been initiated and registered, a procedural decision will be drawn up. The procedural decision will give grounds for why no action was taken and the decision will be sent to the notifier.

We also receive notifications on matters that the occupational safety and health authority has no competence to process. These include matters related to the guardianship of an individual employer or employee, which are civil disputes. In addition, the occupational safety and health authority will not review the plans concerning the current construction of work facilities, the working environment or the structure of machinery. Issuing preliminary opinions on other matters is also not part of the duties of the occupational safety and health authority.

If the reported issue does not fall within the competence of the occupational safety and health authority, we will endeavour to advise the notifier about who they can contact concerning the matter.