Legal Alert Changes to the Occupational Safety And Health Act
The Occupational Safety and Health Act will be amended on 1 June 2013. The law reform aims to increase the importance of working time when employer analyzes and identifies the hazards and risk factors caused by the work. Another goal of the reform is to highlight the significance of working time as such to safety and health of the employees.
The hazards and risk factors caused by the working time are to be understood broadly. The reform means that employer should analyze and identify e.g. following issues related to working time:
– length of working days
– the possibility of an employee to affect to the length of working days
– total working time
– frequency of successive work shifts
– rotation of work shifts
– the amount of overwork
– occasion of work
– predictability of work time
– stress caused by engagement to work
– sufficient recovery during work and between work shifts.
As a conclusion, an employer is advised to constantly analyze its working conditions including various working time issues. In general working safety matters are becoming more and more topical issue in Finland as based on the latest case law an employers possibility to avoid its liability for working hazards is very limited should something unfortunate happen to its employee.