Machinery and equipment - Yleistä

 

General information on topic

Occupational safety and health authorities are responsible for ensuring that manufacturers, importers and retailers of machinery and laser devices that are sold for professional use conform to the regulations issued on the marketing and commissioning of such equipment. The applicable regulations in Finland include

  • the Government Decree on the Safety of Machinery (400/2008)
  • the Government Decree on noise emission levels from equipment for outdoor use (621/2001)
  • the Government Decree on laser devices and inspection of the same (291/2008), and
  • the Act on the Conformity of Certain Technical Devices to Relevant Requirements (1016/2004).

The authorities do not carry out proactive checks on machinery and equipment, and instead manufacturers need to ensure that their products comply with the relevant requirements before they are placed on the market.

The regulatory compliance of machinery must be ensured whenever

  • the manufacturer or importer first makes it available to customers to buy or use within the European Community
  • a retailer or distributor begins to sell it to customers for the purpose indicated by the manufacturer for the first time
  • an employer begins to use it for the purpose indicated by the manufacturer for the first time, or
  • an employer makes modifications to it that alter the intended purpose of the machinery and thereby becomes the manufacturer.

Market surveillance is designed to verify that machinery and the associated documentation satisfied the applicable requirements when they had to by law.

Implementation of market surveillance

As a rule, inspections are carried out when a new piece of machinery first becomes available to customers and before it has been commissioned. In practice, this means trade shows and fairs as well as distributors’ and manufacturers’ facilities. However, if a workplace inspection gives reason to believe that machinery used by employees for their work was not compliant when it was commissioned, both the employer and the manufacturer of the machinery, if they are based in Finland, or some other Finnish operator in the supply chain can be held liable. Market surveillance generally only covers active machinery if less than five years have elapsed since the machinery was commissioned.

If you notice non-conformances in machinery or laser devices that are intended for professional use, you can report these to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency within whose jurisdiction the non-compliant machinery is being used or sold. Your report should include a brief description of the non-conformances and specify the location where the machinery can be inspected, as well as your name and contact details. Please also provide as much information as you can about the machinery in question, such as its name, serial or type number, model, year, the manufacturer’s name and contact details, and the location where the machinery is being used and the name of the company that sold it. A copy of the EC declaration of conformity and photographs of the machinery, its labels and any omissions in the operating instructions are also useful. Occupational safety and health authorities never disclose whistle-blowers’ information or the fact that an inspection is based on a whistle-blower’s report to the operators whom they inspect for market surveillance purposes. Contact details for Regional State Administrative Agencies’ Divisions of Occupational Safety and Health are listed under Contact information.

Machinery and equipment - Työnantajalle

 

Instructions for employer

It is the employer’s duty to ensure that any machinery purchased for employees to use meets their needs and is only used for the purpose indicated by the manufacturer. Most machinery must carry CE marking and be supplied with an EC declaration of conformity.

Whenever employers buy new machinery, they must ensure that the machinery is supplied with operating and maintenance instructions in Finnish and Swedish. Employers also need to check that the labels on the machinery showing, for example, its type, capacity and speed, match the documents supplied with the machinery.

Machinery and equipment - Oikeustapaukset

 

Court decisions and precedents

The Supreme Court of Finland heard a case involving importers’ responsibility for occupational safety in 2006 (KKO:2006:1, in Finnish) in which it had to rule on whether the importer’s managing director could be held criminally liable for an injury suffered by an employee from using CE-marked machinery that had been supplied with an EC declaration of conformity.

Machinery and equipment - Sanasto

Glossary

Presumption of conformity Technical devices being deemed to be in conformity with the applicable laws if the manufacturer has issued a declaration of conformity and labelled the machinery accordingly (CE marking in the EU). The law also provides for other ways to demonstrate conformity.