Organisation and content of occupational health care

Providing occupational health care - Alasivu

An employer is required by law to provide occupational health care for all employees. The obligation to provide occupational health care applies to all employees governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The obligation to provide occupational health care applies to all employees governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Occupational health care must also be provided for

  • summer workers
  • part-time employees
  • temporary short-term employees, agency workers (organised by the agency providing the workers)
  • trainees
  • persons in non-military national service
  • those participating in employment measures (work trial in which the organiser of the trial is responsible for the person’s occupational safety).

Statutory occupational health care does not include medical care. However, an employer may also provide medical care for employees through the occupational health care service provider, but this is not mandatory. The employer may acquire occupational health care services from a public or private service provider or provide them as an in-house service.

Statutory occupational health care includes:

  • Health examinations as motivated by the health risks at the workplace
  • Investigating health hazards at the workplace through a workplace survey
  • Proposals on how to improve working conditions and promote work capacity
  • Providing guidance, advice and information on improving working conditions and on employee health
  • Contributing to workplace health promotion
  • If an employee’s work capacity declines, monitoring the employee's health, promoting his/her coping at work, providing rehabilitation counselling and referring to rehabilitation
  • Providing first aid readiness instruction at the workplace.

An employer is required to provide preventive occupational health care even if there is only one employee. An employer is required to provide preventive occupational health care even if the employee is also provided occupational health care by another employer. 

A written occupational health care agreement and plan are required

The occupational health care agreement must be available for employees to see.

The employer must prepare a written agreement with the occupational health care provider which must be available for employees to see and which includes

  • the general occupational health care arrangements (location of the service, opening hours, sub-contractors, geographical coverage)
  • content of the service provided
  • extent of the service provided (statutory occupational health care only or also medical care).

In addition, the employer must have a written action plan that is reviewed every year. Matters emerging in the workplace survey and in other occupational health cooperation must be taken into account when drafting and updating the occupational health care plan. The action plan must include

  • the general objectives of occupational health care
  • the needs related to the conditions in the workplace and the occupational health care measures required due to those conditions (e.g. health examinations)
  • occupational health care measures when early support models and support for work capacity are implemented in the workplace.

The action plan may be a part of the Occupational safety and health action plan or another development programme or plan prepared by the employer. The employer is responsible for implementing the occupational health care plan. 

KELA compensates the employer in part for the necessary and reasonable costs incurred through providing occupational health care if the service is provided by personnel qualified for occupational health care as required in the Occupational Health Care Act. In order to be eligible for compensation, the employer must have a valid occupational health care service agreement and an occupational health care plan. 

Further information is available on the KELA website: Occupational health care

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