+STM

27.4.2000


    Occupational Safety and Health Strategy

    Work and working conditions have great mportance for the well being of people and society. In Finland, occupational safety and health is based on the concept of a good working environment, which besides occupational safety and health, covers terms of employment and the psychic well being of the employees.

    The main objective of occupational safety and health is to maintain and develop health, safety and work ability of the employee, as well as to prevent occupational accidents and illnesses. Particular areas of development are prevention of occupational illnesses of the locomotor system and the promotion of the employee's mental well being and working ability.

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration enhances the workplace's own capacity and will to improve the working conditions, and in general to manage the occupational safety and healt hissues independently, so that the employees' contentment with work and productivity are improved.

    Integrating occupational safety and health into other activities of the enterprise, as well as the viewpoints of productivity and economy have meant extending the concept of occupational safety and health. In addition to safety and health it contains also mental well being of the workers, contentment with the work, skills and motivation, good organisation and management.

    The employer has responsibility, stipulated in law, over the safety and health aspects of the work, but also the employee has obligations concerning improving working conditions and maintaining work ability.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration supports employers and employees to improve working conditions and fulfil obligations, as well as in integrating occupational safety and health into other activities of the workplace.

    Occupational Safety and Health Strategy Operational principle of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in close co-operation with the labour market organisations, affects the functioning of the workplaces and working environment by increasing the employees' occupational safety, well being, health and results of their activities.

     

    Improving Working Conditions

    During recent years, the cultures of occupational safety and attitudes toward the development of working conditions have changed in a positive way. The importance of health and well being of workers, in terms of productivity and competition, is better understood and taken into account. However, working conditions, especially the physical work environment, change rather slowly.

    Goal-directed work for occupational safety and health has reduced the number of occupational accidents and illnesses. The frequency of occupational accidents (number of accidents in a million working hours) has fallen by a third during the last twenty years. In comparison with other EU countries Finland has a good average score, though it has to be said that e.g. Sweden's statistics on occupational accidents are more favourable than Finland's.

    Pressure and stress have increased in the workplaces throughout the 1990's. This trend seems to have continued during the period of general prosperity following the recession. More than half the working population tells to have suffered some kind of a burn out.

    People feel, however that the contents of work and the quality of working life have improved. Reorganisation of workplaces and work itself has made it possible to pay more attention to the employees' needs and well being.

    Ageing of the employees is a significant matter as regards occupational safety and health. It affects the development needs of working conditions and the direction of occupational safety and health.

    The cost caused to society by occupational accidents and occupational illnesses is estimated to be approximately 16 billion marks or 3% of the GNP.

     

    Occupational Safety and Health at the Workplace

    The employer is in charge of all occupational safety and health at the workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the employer has to take into account everything as regards the quality of work, working conditions, employee's age and ageing, gender, working skills and other conditions that are regarded reasonably necessary in order to protect the employee from exposure to accidents or risks to his or her health. Safety should be ensured already in the planning stages of the work and work premises. In addition, risks and disadvantages have to be monitored continuously and if necessary, measures should be taken to solve and prevent working accidents, health hazards and other risk situations.

    The employer must make the employee familiar with the conditions of the workplace and the correct working methods, as well as any occupational safety regulations. The employee in turn has to follow instructions and notify superiors or occupational safety and health delegate of noticed defects.

    Co-operation concerning Occupational Safety and Health

    The employer nominates an occupational safety and health manager for the co-operation concerning occupational safety and health, unless he wishes to take the position himself. Employees can choose an occupational safety and health delegate and two vice delegates for negotiations conducted with the employer and the occupational safety and health authorities. A delegate has to be chosen, if there are more than 10 employees.

    At workplaces with a minimum of 20 employees, an occupational safety and health committee comprising representatives of the employer, workers and employees with office worker status shall be established. It is the duty of the committee to promote safety and health at work. The occupational safety and health delegate has the right to attend the meetings of the committee and to speak there.

    When necessary, the committee presents the employer with proposals for improving working conditions, developing occupational health care as well as the arrangement of occupational safety and health training and work guidance. In addition, the committee participates in activities which maintain working ability as well as in occupational safety and health inspections.

    Occupational Safety and Health Action Programme and Risk Assessment

    The employer establishes an occupational safety and health action programme in the workplace, which includes information on risks and ways of minimising them, as well as how occupational safety and health has been organised, and the assignment of responsibility. The action programme has to cover activities which maintain the ability to work. Ageing of the employees has to be taken into account in decisions concerning occupational safety and health.

    The action programme is based on the risk assessment. The risks are mapped, their extent and probability are assessed and decisions are then made on the actions to remove or manage them.

    Risk assessment aims at identifying risks caused by the work and facilitates the employer's activities in ensuring the safety and health of the employees. The action programme aims at developing working conditions according to the means of the workplace. Respect of the action programme is a part of modern safety management.

    Activities Maintaining Work Ability

    Functions aiming at maintaining work ability cover all activities which help the employer and employees and the co-operation organisations at the workplace to improve and support the working and operating ability of all the employees in all stages of their career.

    The majority of Finnish employees are covered by the activities enhancing working ability. The development measures at workplaces are directed at the work itself, the work environment, the working community and management, as well as improvement of the employees' skills, resources and health.

    In connection with workplace inspections, the Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates give instructions on the activities concerning the maintenance of work ability.

    Occupational Health Care

    The employer has to arrange the employees' occupational health care services in order to prevent occupational health hazards and develop working conditions.

    Occupational health care services give reports concerning workplaces and monitor the health of the employees andtheir working ability by organising health checks and giving workplaces and employees instructions on prevention of risks related to work. In addition to statutory occupational health care, the employer can arrange other health care services for employees.

    Occupational health care services have to participate in activities which maintain working ability at the workplace.

    By inspecting workplaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates of Finland supervise the arrangement of occupational health care. Monitoring the content of occupational health care services, as regards its medical aspects, is the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Provincial State Offices.

     

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    as the Supervisory Organ

    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates of Finland and the Occupational Safety and Health Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are the supervisory authorities of occupational safety and health legislation concerning workplaces. They also give information and advice on good practice in occupational safety and health.

    Occupational Safety and Health Authorities have to supervise compliance with approximately 60 regulations. Essential acts are, for example, Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Government Decisions made by virtue of the Act, Working Hours Act, Annual Holidays Act, Contracts of  Employment Act, Occupational Health Care Act and Act on the Protection of Young Employees.

    Occupational Safety and Health Supervision is directed at the most problematic sectors on the basis of observations, statistics and other information sources. Response to the clients' demands is considered a particularly important activity.

    The objective of the supervision and instruction carried out by the authorities is to get workplaces to better evaluate their working conditions and take measures in order to improve them.

    Supervision of Products Used at Work

    In the European Economic Area goods move freely across national borders. This presupposes that they conform to requirements concerning them.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates of Finland supervise the conformity of machines, equipment, chemical substances and personal protective equipment used at work with the means of market surveillance in order to ensure that only safe and conforming products are used at workplaces.

    In market surveillance, the Occupational Safety and Health Department co-operates with TUKES, the Safety Technology Authority, as well as the National Consumer Administration.

     

    International Co-operation

    As a member of the United Nations and its International Labour Organisation, Finland has adopted numerous conventions and recommendations concerning occupational safety and health. Their effect on the occupational safety and health of our country has been, and is, of continuous importance.

    The majority of occupational safety and health matters are within the competence of the European Community, and its regulations concerning occupational safety and health are transposed into Finnish legislation.

    Experts from the Occupational Safety and Health Department participate in the preparation of occupational safety and health regulations and programmes in the institutions of the European Union. The goal is to achieve the high Nordic level of occupational safety and health in all the EU countries. It also aims at having Finland's special conditions, such as the cold, taken into account in EU legislation.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Department participates actively in the development of the network of European occupational safety and health. The network has been established in order to gather, analyse and distribute information on occupational safety and health research, legislation and good practices in order to improve safety at work. The flow of information is developed both between national and international organisations, as well as directly between employees and employers.

    Nordic co-operation has an essential role in Finnish occupational safety and health. The Agreement on Co-operation that entered into force in 1990 contains objectives concerning common testing and controlling procedures, statistics and the continual improvement of working conditions.

    The expert committee dealing with the Nordic labour market and occupational safety and health matters supervises permanent working groups and projects, in which Finnish experts and researchers participate. In recent years co-operation has concentrated on practical implementation of the EU's regulations on occupational safety and health and the support for Russia and the Baltic countries.

    The aim of the regional co-operation with Russia and the Baltic countries is the removal of social discrepancies. The Baltic countries are supported also in their aspirations to satisfy the criteria for EU membership.

     

    Occupational Safety and Health
    Organs in Finland

    Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

    The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is in charge of improving the social and health care services and the population's well being with the help of preventive social and healthcare policy.

    The Ministry not only gives authorities instructions on the operations concerning occupational safety and health matters, but also is in charge of preparation and enforcement of legislation concerning occupational safety and health, as well as co-ordinates research in the field and international co-operation.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Department is responsible for preparation and development of occupational safety and health legislation, co-ordination of research and better utilisation of research information. The department also directs Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates, improves their operational prerequisites and develops supervisory methods.

    The development of occupational health care legislation belongs to the Department for Promotion of Welfare and Health.

    For contact information:

    Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
    Occupational Safety and Health Department
    Uimalankatu 1
    PL 536, FIN-33101 Tampere
    Telephone: +358 3 260 8111
    Fax: +358 3 3 260 8511
    Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
    Department for Promotion of Welfare and Health
    Meritullinkatu 8
    PL 267, FIN-00171 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 1601
    Fax: +358 9 160 9862
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@stm.vn.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.vn.fi/stm/


    Ministry of Labour

    The Ministry of Labour promotes the operation of the labour market and work organisations, as well as the integration of immigrants. The Policy Department is in charge of the strategy of the ministry and concentrates on the preparations of acts, as well as work and immigration policies. The Executive Department is responsible for the implementation of the work policy through the Employment and Economic Development Centres.

    The Ministry of Labour prepares the essential work legislation together with the labour market organisations. The acts to be prepared by the Ministry include the Contracts of Employment Act, Act on the Household Workers Employment, Working Hours Act, Annual Holidays Act, Co-determination in Enterprises Act, Personnel Fund Act, Representation of Personnel in the Management of the Enterprise Act, Young Employees Act, Income Security Act, Collective Labour Agreements Act, Work Council Act and the Work Litigation Act. Legislation concerning occupational safety and health falls into the scope of the Occupational Safety and Health Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

    The Labour Council operating in connection with the Ministry of Labour gives interpretations concerning occupational safety and health legislation on working hours, annual holidays, young employees and occupational safety.

    The National Workplace Development Programme co-ordinated by the Ministry of Labour supports different workplace projects in order to improve productivity and the quality of working life. The project also creates and maintains co-operation networks disseminating information and experiences and promotes the use of research in the development of working life.

    In addition to the Ministry of Labour, the labour market organisations and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health participate in the programme.

    For contact information:

    Ministry of Labour
    Eteläesplanadi 4
    PL 524, FIN-00101 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 18 561
    Fax: +358 9 1856 7950
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@mol.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.mol.fi/


    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates

    The Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates of Finland, supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, take care, as authorities, of the practical supervision of occupational safety and health. The Inspectorates give employers and employees instructions and advice on applying regulations concerning work conditions and employment and supervise their abidance in workplaces.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorhas the right to visit all workplaces and other places under supervision and to look at the necessary documents as regards the occupational safety and health supervision. The Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates of Finland can oblige, if necessary, the employer to redress defects concerning occupational safety and health in the workplace.

    The inspector is obligated to secrecy concerning business secrets and employees' health and the possible inspection demands made from the workplace.

    Finland is divided into 11 Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates. The number of personnel in the Inspectorates is about 450; 350 of whom are Occupational Safety and Health Inspectors. The Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates of Finland supervise approximately 240 000 workplaces, in which almost 30 000 inspections are carried out annually. The inspectors also make statements on the plans concerning working premises and working methods.

    For contact information:

    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates of Uusimaa
    Siltasaarenkatu 12 A
    PL 46, FIN-00531 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 774 711
    Fax: +358 9 730 798 and 719 837
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Turku and Pori
    Eerikinkatu 40-42, FIN-20100 Turku
    Telephone: +358 2 271 5777
    Fax: +358 2 271 5778
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Häme
    Uimalankatu 1
    PL 272, FIN-33101 Tampere
    Telephone: +358 3 260 8800
    Fax: +358 3 260 8899
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Kymi
    Valtion virastotalo, Pormestarinkatu 1
    PL 145, FIN-53101 Lappeenranta
    Telephone: +358 5 626 4100
    Fax: +358 5 626 4145
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Mikkeli
    Raatihuoneenkatu 5
    PL 180, FIN-50101 Mikkeli
    Telephone: +358 321 730
    Fax: +358 15 321 7333
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Vaasa
    Kauppapuistikko 20 B
    PL 172, FIN-65101 VAASA
    Telephone: +358 6 323 6111
    Fax: +358 6 323 6950
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Central Finland
    Ailakinkatu 17
    PL 119, FIN-40101 Jyväskylä
    Telephone: +358 14 697 211
    Fax: +358 14 697 341
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Kuopio
    Neulaniementie 4
    PL 96, FIN-70701 Kuopio
    Telephone: +358 17 201 211
    Fax: +358 17 201 410
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of North Karelia
    Kauppakatu 20, FIN-80100 Joensuu
    Telephone: +358 13 26 291
    Fax: +358 13 262 9309
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Oulu
    Albertinkatu 8
    PL 229, FIN-90101 Oulu
    Telephone: +358 8 315 9511
    Fax: +358 8 315 9599
    Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Lapland
    Meripuistokatu 16, FIN-94100 Kemi
    Telephone: +358 16 215 5300
    Fax: +358 16 257 507
     
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@tsp.stm.vn.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.doshnet.fi


    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

    The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is an expert organisation in the field of occupational safety and health. The aim of its activities is a healthy employee and a well functioning workplace. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health pursues this goal with the help of research, expert services, training and information.

    The research is concentrated on the employees' health, features of a good working environment, the physical and mental pressure of the work, dangers caused by chemical substances, noise, heat and radiation, safe working methods, and occupational accidents and illnesses. About 230 research projects are underway annually.

    Experts of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health give instructions on the planning of a good, productive and high quality working environment. The services include measuring harmful radiation doses at workplaces, testing people applying for demanding professions, psychological studies concerning work, development of workplaces and directions on the establishment of action programmes concerning occupational safety and health.

    The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health organises about 300 courses annually. Training includes continuation and further training that maintains professional skills and it is aimed at people working in the field of occupational safety and health.

    The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health gives information on new research projects and up-to-date matters in its own newsletters, guides and other publications. The Institute has the largest information centre on occupational health care, the services of which are available to everybody.

    The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is a public corporation supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The Department for Promotion of Welfare and Health co-ordinates the preparation for its agreement on results.

    The number of personnel of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is about 600. In addition to the centralinstitute, there are six regional institutes in Kuopio, Lappeenranta, Oulu, Tampere, Turku and Helsinki.

    For contact information:

    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
    Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN-00250 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 47 471
    Fax: +358 9 241 4634
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@occuphealth.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.occuphealth.fi/


    Centre for Occupational Safety
    Developing work communities together

    The Centre for Occupational Safety promotes healthy, safe and profitable working conditions and work communities. The Centre’s activities are focused comprehensively on occupational safety and health, occupational health care, profitability, productivity and quality. The basic principle is that co-operation between management and personnel is the best way to develop these matters.

    The Centre for Occupational Safety produces and distributes information and know-how necessary for the development of working conditions. Its uses the following methods:

  • training
    about 200 elementary, advanced and special courses and information campaigns annually
  • working community services
    training and development at individual workplaces when necessary
  • publications
    general guides for different fields of activity and about different matters, information leaflets, training material, transparency series, video cassettes for training
  • information
    e.g. Työyhteisöviesti – Arbetsplatsinfo (magazine dealing with work community matters), four issues per year
  • guidance and information service
    information retrieval and advice according to the needs of customers
  • maintenance of a register of contact persons
    the addresses of about 65 000 persons dealing with occupational safety and health as well as occupational health care at workplaces in the private sector and in municipalities

    The Centre for Occupational Safety follows the principles of sustainable development in its activities. The strength of the Centre consists of a broad basis for co-operation, expertise, consideration for the needs of the customers as well as inexpensive products and services.

    The Centre for Occupational Safety is an office managed by the central labour market organisations. The office operates in close co-operation with different employers’ and employees’ associations in industrial, service and municipal branches. The funding comes from the Finnish Work Environment Fund and sales of training and material.

    TTK-Valmennus Oy, owned by the Centre for Occupational Safety, offers development and training services concerning the working environment, working ability and work communities. The services are offered at the market price and they consist of products developed on the basis of demand, experience and research results and tailored to fit the individual customer’s needs.

    The activities, services and products of the Centre for Occupational Safety and TTK-Valmennus Oy are also presented on the Internet.

    For contact information:

    Centre for Occupational Safety
    Lönnrotinkatu 4 B, FIN-00120 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 616 261
    Fax: +358 9 612 1287
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@tyoturva.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.tyoturva.fi/


    Finnish Work Environment Fund

    The Finnish Work Environment Fund was established in 1979. Labour market organisations are represented in its administration and the operation is supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The funds originate from the accident insurance fees of the employers.

    The Finnish Work Environment Fund finances research and development aiming at improving the working environment and promotes safety and productivity of the workplaces. Additionally, the fund finances the operation of the Centre for Occupational Safety.

    The financing areas are the work environment, employment and productivity of the work. Financing is granted in the forms of research and development allocations, information and training allocations, development aid, as well as personal grants.

    The allocations are meant to be used by research and development projects concerning employment and the work environment, as well as to disseminate the research results to the users. With the development aid, the fund supports the introduction of the research and development results of the field into the applicant's workplace with the help of an external expert.

    A private person can get a grant in order to finish a licentiate's or doctor's  thesis concerning working life, for continuation and further training necessary in the development of working life, or the presentation of research findings in an international meeting.

    For contact information:

    Finnish Work Environment Fund
    Yrjönkatu 30, FIN-00100 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 6803 3311
    Fax: +358 9 6803 3315
    e-mail: info@tsr.fi or firstname.lastname@tsr.fi
    Internet: http://www.tsr.fi/


    VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland

    VTT is an independent expert organisation whose task is to maintain and improve the level of Finnish technology and satisfy public and private research and testing needs. The Ministry of Trade and Industry supervises VTT. VTT is divided into nine technology based research units.

    VTT hires over 2 900 people. The scope of the research on occupational safety is about 140 man-years.

    Research and development, promoting occupational safety, is often carried out as a part of other development activities aimed at competitiveness, quality and productivity.

    The most important unit researching and developing occupational safety is VTT Automation, in whose research into safety techniques and risk management, 95 persons are involved and its turnover is approximately 45 million marks.

    For contact information:

    Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT
    Vuorimiehenkatu 5
    PL 100, FIN-02044 VTT
    Telephone: +358 9 4561
    Fax: +358 9 456 7000e-mail: firstname.lastname@vtt.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.vtt.fi/


    STTV, the National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health

    The Centre for Social and Health Care Product Control is in charge of social and health hazards caused by products containing alcohol, tobacco and chemicals, and it ensures compliance with the regulations concerning the products. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health supervises STTV.

    The Chemicals Department of STTV is responsible for the prevention and control of health hazards caused by chemicals.

    STTV's tasks within chemical control are mainly based on Community legislation. The operation includes assessment and acceptability of the chemicals and pesticides, matters concerning classification and labelling, market surveillance and monitoring GLP laboratories.

    The Product Register Unit maintains a product register of the chemical register. It contains information on dangerous chemicals on the Finnish market. The register is in use by the product control authorities of the Chemicals Act.

    The National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health employs 71 people, 22 of whom work in the Chemicals Department and 12 in the Product Register Unit. The agency co-operates with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, The Finnish Environment Institute, Plant Production Inspection Centre and National Authority for Medicines.

    For contact information:

    National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health
    Säästöpankinranta 2 A
    PL 210, FIN-00531 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 396 7270
    Fax: +358 9 3967 2797
    National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health
    Product Register Unit
    Uimalankatu 1
    PL 686, FIN-33101 Tampere
    Telephone: +358 3 260 8200
    Fax: +358 3 260 8222
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@sttv.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.sttv.fi/


    TUKES, the Safety Technology Authority

    TUKES is an expert organisation that organises, supervises and develops technical safety and reliability. It operates and supervises e.g., chemical and process safety, pressure equipment safety, electrical safety, rescue equipment, measuring instruments and articles of precious metals.

    The aim of TUKES is to protect people, property and the environment from safety risks and to promote technical reliability. Supervisory tasks are organised into two units: plant and installations surveillance (institutions, installations and technical services) and product safety enforcement (products and measurements).

    Besides supervisory tasks, TUKES participates in national and international co-operation, development of legislation, and different research and development projects. Also, it actively gives information on matters concerning technical safety and reliability.

    TUKES operates mainly in the area of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, but it has tasks in areas of various other ministries also.

    For contact information:

    Safety Technology Authority, TUKES
    Lönnrotinkatu 37
    PL 123, FIN-00181 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 61 671
    Fax: +358 9 605 474
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@tukes.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.tukes.fi


    STUK, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority

    STUK is the authority and expert organisation that supervises radiation and nuclear safety. It operates in the field of radiation instruments, radioactive substances, nuclear power plants, nuclear materials and nuclear waste. Its main task is to prevent and restrict the harmful effects of radiation.

    STUK also controls natural radioactive substances in working, housing and living environments and exposure to radiation caused by them, as well as exposure to non-ionising radiation as far as it is not the task of other authorities.

    The legislation contains provisions on monitoring, maximal values and health controls of employees' exposure to radiation. The information on exposure is registered in a dose register maintained by STUK.

    STUK monitors the radiation exposure of about12,000 employees in 1,300 workplaces, gives instructions on safety and trains employees using radiation.

    STUK sets the national measurement norms. Thus it ensures that radiation measurements made in Finland are adequately precise and internationally comparable.

    STUK provides national customers services in radiation dose measurements, radioactivity counts and other expert services. Expert services abroad are mainly ordered by Finland's Ministry of Interior and the European Union.

    An essential part of STUK's operations are research, radiation control of the environment and emergency readiness operations. Research results are published in scientific journals and publications and the publication series of the centre. STUK informs about new research projects in its magazine Alara, its Internet home pages, brochures and guides.

    STUK employs 290 persons.

    For contact information:

    Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, STUK
    Laippatie 4
    PL 14, FIN-00881 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 759 881
    Fax: +358 9 7598 8500
    e-mail: firstname.lastname@stuk.fi
    Internet home pages: http://www.stuk.fi/


    Consumer Agency

    The task of the Consumer Agency  is to guarantee the financial, health and legal status of the consumers and to promote consumers' possibilities to participate in private and public decision making and in the market.

    The Consumer Agency is also in charge of supervision on conformity with the Product Safety Act. With market surveillance realised with the means of spot-checking, it ensures safety of consumer goods and services.

    The variety of control methods guarantees the effectiveness of market surveillance. These methods include studies on the safety of products, testing samples from market surveillance with the Customs Laboratory, dealing with complaints and notifications and market surveillance projects with the supervisory authorities.

    If a product is found to be dangerous or defective as regards safety, the Consumer Agency tries to negotiate with the entrepreneur in order to rectify the defects or cancels the sale of the product. The Consumer Agency can also determine a ban on sales and reinforce it with conditional imposition of a fine and impose a so-called return procedure in order to remove the dangerous goods from the market.

    Main product groups to be controlled are personal protection devices, toys and children's accessories, textiles, perfumes, sports and leisure equipment, as well as different consumer services such as fitness centres, amusement parks, skiing slopes, playgrounds etc.

    The Product Safety Act is of a secondary nature; it is not applied to products covered with special legislation (like medicines and foodstuffs). Special authorities guarantee their control.

    Market surveillance is completed with information directed at the consumers and entrepreneurs. In addition, Provincial State Offices carry out their own market controls according to the agreements on results signed with the Consumer Agency.

    The co-operation partners of the Consumer Agency in market control are the Provincial State Offices and the health inspectors of the municipalities, who are permitted to carry out inspections at sale points, as well as at the storehouses of the producers and importers.

    For contact information:

    Consumer Agency
    Haapaniemenkatu 4 A
    PL 5, FIN-00531 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 77 261
    Fax: +358 9 7726 7557
    e-mail: posti@kuluttajavirasto.fi
    Internet home pages: www.kuluttajavirasto.fi


    Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions

    The Federation ofn Accident Insurance Institutions takes care of tasks requiring co-operation of the insurance institutes issuing statutory accident insurance and other tasks as it is stipulated in the legislation. It is also assigned the tasks for insurance institutes arising out of a person's place of residence as a consequence of the international agreement signed by Finland.

    The central areas of the union are the conformity in the application of the system, profitability of a statutory accident insurance, production of information on occupational safety and health, effects on the opening of the European insurance market to the statutory accident insurance and the information on the contents of the statutory accident insurance.

    The investigation of deaths in occupation carried out by the Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions is directed by an investigation board with representatives of central labour market organisations, insurance companies and the Centre for Occupational Safety. It investigates annually 30-40 cases of occupational death. The investigation reports are submitted to the occupational safety and health contact persons at workplaces and to other experts.

    Occupational death case reports are based on visits by a sector investigation group to the workplace and the documents made by the occupational safety and health authorities, as well as the police. Sector analyses and summaries are made on the basis of the reports at regular intervals.

    An occupational safety and health committee, with representation of the labour market organisations and insurance sector, directs the occupational safety and health activities of the Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions. The committee co-ordinates the occupational safety work in the insurance sector. It also makes initiatives on the up-to-date research and on reporting needs that are based on statistics on occupational accidents and illnesses, produced by the Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions (SAMMIO statistics).

    In the Working Environment Medals Act, the Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions has been assigned the task of secretariat of the Working Environment Medal Committee, including information on medals and their winners, contacts to the applicants and winners of the medals, and the preparations of the event where the annual medal for special merits is given.

    For contact information:

    Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions
    Bulevardi 28, FIN-00120 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 680 401
    Fax: +358 9 6804 0389


    Orders Brochure

    This brochure can be ordered free of charge from:
    Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
    e-mail: marja.mytty@stm.vn.fi