Statutory and other health examinations supporting work capacity - Alasivu

The purpose of health examinations is to assess and promote employees’ work capacity, evaluate their need for rehabilitation, promote a healthy lifestyle, provide information on protection against risks involved in the work, and gather information on the work. The health examination plan must be recorded in the occupational health care service plan.

Special risk of illness in the work

For a justifiable reason, the employer may require an employee to attend an occupational health care health examination.

Work duties may present special requirements to an employee’s health. The employer is required to provide regular health monitoring with the occupational health care service for employees exposed to factors causing a special risk of illness in their work. These factors are listed in the Government Decree on medical examinations in work that presents a special risk of illness (1485/2001).

The employer is required to ensure that employees performing work that causes the above mentioned risk of illness, or work that presents health requirements, attend a health examination before they start the work and provide the employer with a statement issued by the occupational health care service on their suitability for the work in terms of health. The employee may not refuse health examinations without a justified reason.

An initial health examination should, where possible, be performed before the start of the work that presents a special risk of illness, but it must be performed within one month after the start of the work at the latest. The health examination is given to establish whether the employee has any deformity, injury, illness or sensitivity which may be exacerbated by the work in question of which prevents that employee from performing that work at all.

Periodical health examinations are based on exposure at work

The employee's exposure and any changes in their health are monitored through periodical health examinations. At the same time, the employee is provided with information on health risks present in the work, instructions for preventing problems, and advice on promoting their health.

In accordance with section 13 of the Occupational Health Care Act, an employee may not without good cause refuse to attend a medical examination referred to in the act if at the start or at a later stage of the employment the examination is necessary. The certificate issued based on the health examination includes an overall evaluation of the employee’s health qualifications for carrying out the tasks they are responsible for, or the tasks planned to be assigned to them.

Health examinations to determine work capacity

Health examinations to evaluate and promote employees’ work and functional capacity are a part of the statutory activities of the occupational health care service. The occupational health care service will give an employee a health examination when it is suspected that the employee’s work involves a health risk, for instance because of unbalanced physical loads or a psychosocial load that presents a health hazard. In such health examinations, the occupational health care professionals will establish the employee’s level of work capacity, evaluate the need to change the work, and consider the possibility of rehabilitation. Health examinations also help support the prevention of substance abuse and referrals to treatment or support services.

The employer has the right and duty to direct an employee to a health examination if the employer notices that the employee’s work capacity has declined. Before the health examination, the employer and the employee should discuss the employee’s work capacity using, for example, the early support model adopted in the workplace. An employee must attend an occupational health care health examination if requested to do so by the employer for a justifiable reason.

An employee may also request, for a justifiable reason, an occupational health care health examination to assess their workload and work capacity.

The employer may offer voluntary health examinations beyond the statutory ones

The employer may also provide voluntary health examinations for employees through the occupational health care service.


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