Preventive Occupational Health Care and Work Capacity Support

Under the Occupational Health Care Act (1383/2001), employers are required to arrange occupational health care at their own expense in order to prevent and control health risks and problems related to work and working conditions and to protect and promote the safety, work capacity and health of their employees. The employer is required to arrange occupational health care if they have one or more employees.

The basis for health and occupational well-being is formed by the everyday activities at work: management practices, the skills and work motivation of the employees, the work community, healthy life choices, and safe working conditions, as well as life and work management. The leadership of the workplace is responsible for promoting well-being at work, and the multi-professional occupational health care personnel can help with this.

The contents, extent, and practical implementation of occupational health care are defined in the occupational health care agreement. The occupational health care agreement is a written contract between the employer and the occupational health care service provider. The employer informs the employees about the extent of the occupational health care.

Preventive occupational health care services include:

  • Workplace surveys
  • Planning workplace activities
  • Services of occupational health nurses and doctors, for example health check-ups or follow-ups of employees
  • Guidance and counselling of occupational physiotherapists and psychologists when needed in promoting, assessing, and follow-ups of health and work capacity, as well as in workplace surveys
  • Debriefing activities (mental aftercare of work-related accidents or near-accidents)
  • Occupational health consultations between the employer, the employee, and the occupational health care, for example after long sick leaves, in work capacity matters, or at need
  • Basic vaccinations and vaccinations needed at work

A work capacity assessment by a specialist (a specialist consultation) can be added to the preventive services as a part of the work capacity assessment or the evaluation of treatment possibilities. The consultation does not include other examinations or procedures.

Reimbursements by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland

The employer has the right to get reimbursements from Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland) for the costs of arranging occupational health care.

Work Capacity Support

The employer and the occupational health care provider decide together how to monitor work capacity. The occupational health care provider promotes and supports the work capacity of employees by evaluating treatment and rehabilitation possibilities, whether the disease is work-related, or if the employee has limited working capacity, and by sending the employee to a specialist or to other examinations.

The tasks of occupational health care are to evaluate and monitor the employees’ ability to work and function, to make the necessary suggestions for improving the situation and to monitor the realization of the suggestions. The work capacity of employees can be monitored, for example, by physical examinations, workplace visits, medical health care visits, and by monitoring sick leaves.

Occupational health nurses and doctors, as well as occupational health physiotherapists and psychologists, support the maintaining of the work capacity of employees and the development of work.