Occupational health and safety cooperation

In occupational health and safety cooperation, the employer and employees handle issues related to occupational safety and health and employee well-being together.

Occupational health and safety cooperation parties

Cooperation parties include the occupational safety manager appointed by the employer and the occupational safety representative and occupational safety committee elected by the employees. Labour market organization contracts also include provisions regarding occupational safety ombudsmen. In small workplaces, the cooperation takes place in the immediate interaction between the employer and the employees.

Workplace

For the purpose of occupational health and safety cooperation, a so-called cooperation workplace must be defined. The concept of a cooperation workplace affects representative cooperation and the election of the occupational safety representative.

A cooperation workplace is a entity made up of one or more departments or operational units of the same employer. When defining a cooperation workplace, the nature and extent of the operations, the number of employees in the operational unit and the risks and hazards of the work must be taken into account. Several cooperation workplaces may be defined for one company. A cooperation workplace can also consist of several different employers' departments.

Matters within the scope of occupational safety cooperation

Occupational safety cooperation deals with matters and measures concerning the safety, health and working capacity of employees and the monitoring of their effects and implementation.
  • Physical and psychosocial strain, chemical and biological factors, structural safety of the workplace, and safety of machinery.
  • The effects of work and workspace restructuring, organizational changes, personnel arrangements, and machinery and equipment purchases on physical and psychosocial strain and guidance and instructions.
  • Objectives and development plans related to health, safety, employee well-being and measures supporting working capacity, such as the occupational safety and health policy and the occupational health care action plan.
  • Issues that have emerged in the workplace risk assessment and in the workplace survey and the measures taken on the basis of this information.
  • Follow-up data describing the safety and health of the workplace and the measures taken on the basis of this information. Follow-up data includes safety observations, incidents, occurred accidents, violent situations, and summary information concerning sick leave.
Issues concerning the implementation of occupational health care and the objectives of the occupational safety and health policy must also be handled cooperatively.


Handling of occupational health and safety cooperation issues

Immediate cooperation

Issues concerning individual employees or employee groups are handled between the employee in question and their supervisor. The occupational safety representative may take part in the proceedings:
•    if the employee asks them to take part
•    if the employer and the supervisor in question ask them to take part
•    on their own initiative, provided that the employee approves the presence of the occupational safety representative and the representative rightly considers their presence to be necessary.

Handling of the matter in the occupational safety committee

Occupational health and safety cooperation issues concerning a broad category of employees or the workplace in general are handled in the occupational safety committee or in a similar cooperative body.
Members of the occupational safety committee have the right to make proposals to the occupational safety committee about the issues that are being handled.

If the workplace does not have an occupational safety committee, matters that should be handled by the committee are handled with the employer and the occupational safety representative. If the workplace does not have an occupational safety representative, the matters are handled together with the employees.


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