Working in another person’s home

Working in another person’s home_perussisältö

Cooperation between the employer and customer and the content of the work contract play an essential role.

Work performed in another person’s home may be temporary, such as renovation or installation work, or regular and scheduled, such as cleaning and social or healthcare services. Work performed in an assisted living unit where the resident is an owner or tenant is also considered working in another person’s home.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers must look after employees’ safety and health at work. In work in another person’s home, however, the legal right to domestic peace restricts employers’ ability to ensure the safety and health of employees. For this reason, cooperation between the employer and customer and the content of the work contract play an essential role. The employer must expressly agree with the customer on what work is performed in each case and how before the work is begun.

The employer is responsible for identifying and assessing work hazards 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the employer must ensure that work is performed under safe and healthy conditions. The employer must select a method for identifying and assessing work hazards that best suits the work to be performed. In work performed at another person’s home, however, the employer’s legal and actual ability to determine the safety and health of work conditions is limited. However, the employer is required to follow provisions on the safety of machinery, equipment, protective equipment and hazardous materials in all respects. For this reason, the importance of cooperation between the employer and customer is emphasised.

The employer must carefully identify and assess hazards associated with the work. The assessment of hazards must also address how the constant monitoring and supervision of the work environment are ensured. The assessment of work hazards must be updated regularly and whenever conditions change. 

Based on the assessment of work hazards, the employer decides on the measures to be taken to eliminate work hazards and risks. If eliminating a risk is not possible, the employer must select work methods that minimise risk. In work performed at another person’s home, the importance of occupational safety and health cooperation between the employer and employee is emphasised. Employees are also responsible for their own safety and have a duty to report any shortcomings to the employer.

In planning work to be performed at another person’s home, the employer must take the following into account:

  • Planning the work environment. Together with the customer, the employer must address issues that are relevant for the safety and health of the work environment.
  • Employee orientation. Hazards related to the work can be minimised with sufficient employee training and instruction. 
  • Working alone. In assessing hazards related to working alone, employers must give particular attention to the risks of injury and violence as well as the psychosocial workload factors involved in different work tasks. The employee must be able to call for assistance and keep in necessary contact.
  • Threat of violence. If the work involves a clear threat of violence, the Occupational Safety and Health Act obligates employers to take steps to prepare against and prevent violent and dangerous incidents. The employee must be able to call for assistance.
  • Threat of accident. Employers must ensure the safety of the work environment and work tools and provide training to employees on safe work practices. Taking preventive measures is essential for avoiding accidents. 
  • Psychosocial stress. Psychosocial stress factors relate to the content and organisation of the work and the social dynamics of the work community. Psychosocial stress can be damaging to employees’ health. Employers have a duty to minimise or eliminate the risk and hazard caused by stress factors on employees’ health. 
  • Supervision. Employers must supervise that employees follow instructions and observe safe work practices. 

Working in another person’s home_lainsäädäntö

 

Legislation

Occupational Safety and Health Act (738/2002)

 

  • Section 5 – Application of the Act to work done in the employee’s or other person’s home
  • Section 8 – Employers’ general duty to exercise care 
  • Section 10 – Analysis and assessment of the risks at work 
  • Section 12 – Design of the working environment 
  • Section 14 – Instruction and guidance to be provided for employees  
  • Section 15 – Providing personal protective equipment, auxiliary equipment and other devices for use
  • Section 25 – Avoiding and reducing workloads 
  • Section 27 – Threat of violence
  • Section 29 – Lone working
  • Section 41 – Use of machines, work equipment and other devices