Occupational safety as well as occupational health and safety
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have an extensive duty to exercise care. Employers are responsible for employees remaining physically and mentally healthy in their duties.
The assessment of a work’s risks and hazards is carried out in cooperation between the employer and an employee representative. The results and conclusions of the assessment serve as a basis for the preparation of the workplace’s occupational health and safety action plan, which includes a plan on what measures are to be taken at the workplace. The plan indicates what to do, who is responsible for it, and how the realization of occupational health and safety is monitored.
The employer’s representative is an occupational health and safety manager appointed by the employer.
The employer must account for factors related to the work, working conditions and other working environment, as well as an employee’s personal conditions. Unusual and unforeseen circumstances that the employer cannot influence remain beyond the scope of the employer’s duty to exercise care.
In addition to the general duty to exercise care, employers have, pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a number of separate obligations concerning, among other things, the planning of the working environment and work, the instructions and guidance on the workplace’s hazards and risks provided to employees, ergonomics, working alone and breaks. Furthermore, different industries often have industry-specific regulations pertaining to occupational safety.
Alongside employers, employees are also obligated to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the orders given by employers. Employees must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the orders given by their employers in accordance with the instructions and guidance they have been provided with.
If at least ten people work at the workplace on a regular basis, the employees have the right to choose an occupational health and safety representative and two deputy representatives from among themselves. Employers are obligated to ensure that the occupational health and safety representative and the deputy representatives are trained for their duty.
An occupational health and safety committee must be established if at least 20 employees work at the workplace on a regular basis. The committee must include representatives of workers, employees, and the employer.