Section 7-2 The duties of the working environment committee

(1) The working environment committee shall make efforts to establish a fully satisfactory working environment in the undertaking. The committee shall participate in planning safety and environmental work and shall follow up developments closely in questions relating to the safety, health and welfare of the employees.

(2) The working environment committee shall consider:

  • a) questions relating to the occupational health service and the internal safety service,
  • b) questions relating to training, instruction and information activities in the undertaking that are of significance for the working environment,
  • c) plans that require the consent of the Labour Inspection Authority pursuant to section 18-9,
  • d) other plans that may be of material significance for the working environment, such as plans for construction work, purchase of machines, rationalisation, work processes, and preventive safety measures,
  • e) establishment and maintenance of the undertaking's systematic health, environment and safety work, cf. section 3-1,
  • f) health and welfare issues related to working-hour arrangements.

(3) The committee may also consider issues concerning employees with reduced capacity for work, cf. section 4-6.

(4) The committee shall study all reports relating to occupational diseases, occupational accidents and near accidents, seek to find the cause of the accident or disease and ensure that the employer takes steps to prevent recurrence. As a general rule the committee shall have access to Labour Inspection Authority and police inquiry documents. When the committee considers it necessary, it may decide that inquiries shall be conducted by specialists or by a commission of inquiry appointed by the committee. Without undue delay the employer may submit such decisions to the Labour Inspection Authority for decision. The committee shall study all reports relating to occupational health inspections and measurements. Before such reports as mentioned in this paragraph are considered by the committee, medical information of a personal nature shall be removed from the reports, unless the person to whom the information applies consents to it being submitted to the committee.

(5) If the working environment committee considers it necessary in order to protect the life or health of employees, it may decide that the employer shall implement concrete measures to improve the working environment within the framework of the provisions laid down in or pursuant to this Act. In order to determine whether a health hazard exists, the committee may decide that the employer shall conduct measurements or examinations of the working environment. The committee shall impose a time limit for implementation of the decision. If the employer finds that he is unable to implement the committee's decision, the matter shall be submitted without undue delay to the Labour Inspection Authority for decision.

(6) Each year the working environment committee shall submit a report on its activities to the administrative bodies of the undertaking and to employee organisations. The Directorate of Labour Inspection may issue further rules concerning the contents and composition of the annual report.

(7) The Ministry may issue regulations with further provisions concerning the activities of the committee, including provisions concerning procedure and concerning the duty of secrecy for members of the committee.