Occupational safety and health (OSH)

The MSAH prepares and develops legislation and policies on OSH and deals with international cooperation in this field. The ministry also guides the occupational safety and health work of the Regional State Administrative Agencies.

Safety and health at work

The aim of OSH is to prevent, reduce and eradicate workplace accidents, occupational diseases and physically and psychologically harmful stress.

Policy dealing with occupational safety and health and wellbeing in the workplace also aim to

  • reduce incidents of sick leave
  • cut the risk of permanent work incapacity
  • develop good working conditions
  • maintain work and functional capacity.

On of the most important tasks of OSH is to eliminate the grey economy. Doing so includes further developing OSH legislation and upgrading monitoring and oversight.

2020 targets

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has set policies for the work environment and well-being at work until 2020.

The aim is that by 2020

  • the number of occupational diseases will decrease by 10 per cent
  • the frequency of workplace accidents will decrease by 25 per cent
  • physical stress caused by work will decrease by 20 per cent
  • mental stress caused by work will decrease by 20 per cent.

Cross-border cooperation

Most international OSH cooperation is carried out in the EU, the International Labour Organization and with other Nordic countries.

Safety and health at work are one of the most important and progressive areas of EU social policy.

Most Finnish legislation on OSH is based on EU directives, the preparation of which involves Finnish specialists.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, located in Bilbao in Spain, is important in OSH cooperation at the European level. The MSAH is the national coordinating body in Finland, acting together with the various bodies represented on the Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.