Existing surveys and studies, such as the employer’s own risk assessment, measurements or inspections, are utilised in carrying out workplace surveys.
Workplace surveys are divided into basic surveys and targeted surveys based on their scope and level of detail. A basic survey consists of a preliminary survey and workplace visits.
To ensure that the content of occupational health care meets the needs of the workplace, the following are determined:
- physical, chemical and biological exposure in the work, e.g. does the work involve noise, dust or use of chemicals and what protective equipment is needed
- physical and psychosocial strain of the work, such as working positions, lifting, rush and the threat of violence
- employees’ health, work ability and functional capacity
- risk of illness due to the individual characteristics of employees
- the risk or threat of a work-related occupational disease, accident or violence
- work-induced and other work-related illnesses
- working hours arrangements
- changes in working conditions and staff
- staff structure and the state of staff
- health risks and harms associated with different forms of employment contracts
- opportunities for individual work arrangements in the workplace based on work ability
- combined effects of the above-mentioned and any other factors.
The workplace survey is always carried out in cooperation between the workplace and occupational health care. Participants from the workplace can be the occupational safety manager and representatives, supervisors and employees.
The occupational health care personnel assess the impact of the working conditions on health and work ability based on information collected during workplace visits, observations, discussions and, if necessary, measurements. In addition to this, interviews or surveys can be used to asses the work atmosphere and identify stress factors.
A basic survey is carried out at the start of the provision of occupational health care and is revised
- when the occupational health care action plan is updated
- if there is a material change in the working conditions at the workplace or
- on the basis of the information obtained by occupational health care
- in any case, every 3–5 years.
The employer and the occupational safety and health representative receive a report on the workplace survey, which contains a summary of the hazards and health risks involved in the work, as well as proposed measures.
The report also contains a summary of the necessary statutory health checks based on the exposures at the workplace. The report must be reviewed together with the employees at the workplace. It is recommended that occupational health care participates in this review. The workplace survey must be available for employees to see at the workplace.
Targeted workplace surveys
If necessary, targeted workplace surveys may also be carried out at the workplace. Their purpose is to investigate the chosen topic more thoroughly, in which case the proposed measures for the improvement of working conditions are also more detailed and concrete. A targeted ergonomic survey, for example, focuses on physical stress factors. A targeted survey can also focus on chemical risks, psychosocial stress factors or other circumstances at the workplace that require a more detailed investigation.