Register of exposed workers

Register of exposed workers

It is the employer’s duty to

  • keep a list of carcinogens and mutagens (agents that can cause cancer or damage genes) used or present in the workplace
  • identify the employees’ potential exposure to carcinogens and mutagens
  • keep a list of workers exposed to these agents
  • notify the employees’ representatives that such a list is kept.

The content of this list is specified in the Act on the List and Register of Workers Exposed to Carcinogenic Substances and Methods (452/2020, Section 3). The Act entered into force on 1 September 2020.

All employees who are exposed to carcinogens for a significant part of their working time must be reported to the Finnish register of workers exposed to carcinogens, the ASA Register, by the employer.

Employees must be entered into the Finnish register of workers exposed to carcinogens every year:

  • if the exposure has been confirmed by biomonitoring, occupational hygiene evaluations, or assessments and measurements conducted in other workplaces under equivalent conditions
  • if there is no exact data on exposure levels, the employer must report all employees who have been exposed for a significant part of their working day on at least 20 workdays that year (‘a significant part’ being a minimum of 2 hours per working day on 20 working days a year, e.g. at least 40 working days a year and at least one hour per day)
  • if there has been a significant single exposure as a result of an accident, disruption, unusual work stage or a similar reason.

Employees who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke for at least 40 working days for a significant part of their working day (from two to four hours a day) or who have been found to be exposed to tobacco smoke in occupational hygiene evaluations must also be reported to the register.

Further information on the employers’ reporting obligations is available on the website of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health on page Register of exposed workers (in Finnish).  

The register is maintained by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

The reports are submitted retrospectively each calendar year, meaning that previous year’s exposure information should be reported by the end of March of the current year.

The register of workers exposed to carcinogens is maintained by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. It is the employer’s duty to report all exposure agents and exposed workers to the register.

ASA forms and filling instructions are available on the website of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health on page Register of exposed workers (in Finnish).

Please note: The specification of substances requiring employers to submit a report to the register has changed on 1 January 2020. Exposure reports for 2020 can be filed starting from 1 January 2021.

Purpose of the register of workers exposed to carcinogens

The Finnish register of workers exposed to carcinogens (ASA Register) has been maintained as a statutory register since 1979. Its impact on occupational safety and health is indirect. The register is used for preventing the risk of work-related cancers, monitoring workplace exposure and, most importantly, improving working conditions.

The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health maintains the register, compiles annual statistics and regularly monitors cancer incidence among workers. The register’s data helps occupational safety and health authorities gain a better idea of where exposure occurs, allowing them to tighten up their enforcement and counselling measures as needed.

Being registered in the Finnish register of workers exposed to carcinogens does not prove that the cancer is work-related. All cases where an employee develops cancer are investigated individually.