Issues to be addressed in the context of cooperation in occupational safety and health matters

Issues to be addressed in the context of cooperation in occupational safety and health matters

Cooperation in occupational safety and health matters covers all issues that can have an impact on employees’ safety, health or work ability.

These can relate to employees’ work, the work environment or the work community and include, among others,

  • procedures in the workplace
  • the way in which work is organised
  • occupational safety surveys
  • any plans that can have an impact on employees’ work
  • occupational safety and health objectives
  • programmes designed to promote well-being at work, and
  • statistics and monitoring data (e.g. sickness absences).

The Finnish Occupational Health Care Act and the Finnish Occupational Safety and Health Act also contain special provisions on issues to be addressed in the context of cooperation in occupational safety and health matters.

Cooperation in occupational safety and health matters also covers following up on the progress of any agreed actions and monitoring their impacts.

The cooperation process

Any issues that concern the workplace in general are the occupational safety and health committee’s responsibility. In the absence of an occupational safety and health committee, these issues are dealt with by the employer and the occupational safety and health representative or the employees together.

Members of the occupational safety and health committee can propose items to add to the committee’s agenda. The employer must respond to all such proposals and give detailed feedback.

Issues concerning an individual employee’s health and safety are resolved between the employee and the employer or a manager acting as the employer’s representative. The occupational safety and health representative can intervene either at his or her own initiative or at the employee’s or the employer’s request.

It is important to address any issues that arise as soon as possible. The cooperation process must be efficient enough to make a genuine difference in the workplace.