Elections of OSH representatives

The duties of occupational safety and health representatives are determined in law and agreements. An OSH representative must be elected in workplaces with at least 10 employees. However, even in smaller workplaces the employees can, if they wish, elect an OSH representative amongst themselves.

In the elections, employees select an OSH representative and two deputy representatives amongst themselves to represent the employees in OSH cooperation. The managerial staff can, if they wish, elect an OSH representative and deputies of their own amongst themselves.

The OSH representative represents all employees and personnel groups in his/her division in which the representative has been elected as a personnel representative. A representative’s term of office is usually two years, unless otherwise agreed in the workplace before the election.

Instructions for OSH representative elections

The OSH manager of the workplace will start the election process. Instructions have been made (in Finnish) for the practical arrangement of OSH representative elections.

Summary of occupational safety elections (link to Centre for Occupational Safety website)

When do the OSH representative elections take place?

In the municipal sector, in parishes and in several private sector workplaces, the OSH representative elections usually take place in October–December.

The first OSH elections of wellbeing services counties will take place as soon as possible after the counties have started operating on 1 January 2023.

In the municipal sector, the term of office for OSH representatives and OSH ombudsmen is four years. In state and private sector workplaces, the term of office is two or four years. The first OSH actors of wellbeing services counties will end their term of office on 31 December 2025.

JHL’s elections material

Laws and cooperation agreements