Safe working environment

The working environment must be designed so that it is as safe as possible. It is the employer’s duty to carry out risk assessments.

The purpose of a workplace’s occupational health and safety activities is to improve working conditions – to prevent and fix deficiencies and help solve work-related problems.

Risk assessment is the basis for occupational health and safety. It is the employer’s duty to carry out assessments.

The working environment must be designed so that it is as safe as possible, even in case of human error. Hazards must be removed or minimised so that the employee’s health is not endangered. Hazards are assessed at the workplace through risk assessment.

It is the employer’s duty to carry out assessments. The assessment looks into hazards and flaws detected in working conditions and their severity and probability. Working conditions, accidents that have occurred, near-misses and occupational illnesses must be taken into account in the risk assessment. Also the employee’s age, gender, expertise and other personal characteristics must be considered.

Risk assessment is the basis for occupational health and safety. It helps to pinpoint how occupational safety should be improved at the workplace and which order the improvements should be made in. A range of existing assessment models is available.

How can risks in the working environment be remedied?

  • The first issues that should be remedied are ones that can be fixed immediately.
  • Deficiencies are reported to the supervisor and occupational safety ombudsman.
  • Remedying deficiencies is the responsibility of the supervisor. They must ensure that the deficiency is fixed. There are also issues that cannot be remedied immediately. Of these, the first to be fixed should be problems that are assessed to be the most harmful.
  • Remediation measures must be scheduled so that the most urgent ones come first.

Visible or invisible risk?

A work environment’s risks can be classified as either visible or invisible. A visible risk is, for example, poor ergonomics. An invisible risk, on the other hand, could be a disturbance that occurs suddenly, such as a defect in a device.

Similarly, an invisible risk is a problem situation that comes up for the first time: for example, when an employee is presented with a sudden responsibility that they do not have the required expertise for.

Responsibility of the supervisor

Risk assessment is a statutory duty belonging to the employer. Assessment needs to be systematic. The personnel’s representatives in risk assessment are occupational safety ombudsmen and occupational safety representatives.