Occupational safety and OSH

Occupational safety and health (OSH) improves employee safety, health and work capacity. The goal is to prevent occupational accidents, health impacts, illnesses and disability. The Occupational Health Care Act lays out the obligations of the employer, other persons with an impact on occupational safety, and employees.

As an employer, you have a broad duty of care under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. You are as an employer assumed to be an expert in your field, and thus clear about the hazards and disadvantages that are inherent to the workplace, as well as how to mitigate them. If, as an employer, you do not have this expertise, you must consult external experts.

Your duty as an employer is to take necessary measures to ensure employees’ safety and health at work. You, the employer, must consider the work itself, working conditions and the rest of the working environment, as well each employee’s personal circumstances. Your duty of care as an employer does not include unusual, unpredictable conditions you cannot affect.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act also applies to work done by people aged under 18, but young employees are also covered by special legislation. The key provisions are the Young Workers’ Act and the Government Decree on Particularly Harmful and Dangerous Work for Young Workers. You may not give a young worker unreasonably large responsibility at work. In addition to physical exertion, this applies to mental strain, and responsibility for finances or safety.