Roles and Tasks
The duty of the occupational safety and health personnel is to act as experts in occupational safety and health matters at the workplace. They observe the working environment, identify disturbances and make suggestions for development.
The employer is responsible for ensuring that the workplace is safe and healthy for all employees. To do this, the employer must be aware of the hazard and risk factors in the workplace and know how to manage them. The employer also has to make sure that the employees have the knowledge and skills required to do their work safely. The employer must provide the employees an access to occupational health care.
The employees are obliged to follow the orders and instructions given by the employer and to take care of their own safety and the safety of their co-workers.
Occupational Safety Personnel Register
The employer enters the contact information of the persons appointed and elected for occupational health and safety cooperation tasks in the workplace in the occupational safety personnel register. The register is created by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the Ministry has appointed the Centre for Occupational Safety responsible for its maintenance. The employer is required by law to enter the required information in the occupational safety personnel register.
Occupational Safety Representative
The occupational safety representative is a person elected by the employees among themselves. They represent the employees in occupational health and safety cooperation matters with the employer.
Occupational Safety Manager
The occupational safety manager represents the employer for the purposes of occupational health and safety cooperation. The employer appoints the work safety manager, unless the employer is the one serving in that capacity.
Occupational Safety Ombudsman
In addition to the occupational safety representative, occupational safety ombudsmen may also be elected to represent the employees in occupational health and safety cooperation matters. The ombudsmen represent a specific limited group of employees, such as a particular department, division or professional group.
Occupational Safety Committee
Workplaces with at least 20 permanent employees must establish an occupational safety committee.
Occupational health and safety responsibility in shared workplaces
Employers and self-employed workers working in shared workplaces are obliged to work in cooperation when doing occupational health and safety work. However, each employer is responsible for the occupational safety of their own employees.
Employers exercising the main authority – the purchaser or the project supervisor – have the primary responsibility to coordinate the overall management of occupational health and safety work between different parties.
When using subcontractors or hired labour, care should be taken to make sure that occupational health and safety responsibility issues are in order when drawing up contracts.
Workplace of mutual hazards
A workplace of mutual hazards is a shared space where different employers and workers operate independently, e.g. shopping centres or office hotels. What sets workplaces of mutual hazards apart from shared workplaces is that actors are independent in relation to each other.
Actors that operate in a shared space are obliged to cooperate with each other and to inform each other about any hazards and risk factors that they may detect and about their elimination and the coordination of necessary measures.