Work environment - Yleistä


General information on topic

A safe and healthy work environment is crucial.

The work environment must be built using safe and healthy structures and materials. The lighting and ambient temperature must be right for the work.

Healthy indoor air and sufficient ventilation should be considered at the workplace.

Smoking in shared workspaces is prohibited, and employers can also impose other restrictions on smoking during working hours and on their premises. If necessary, steps must be taken to ensure that employees are not exposed to radon radiation.

Attention should be paid to planning and agreeing on remote work and other work carried out at home, as well as to occupational safety, as conditions might be different than in a normal working environment. Thus, collaboration between the parties in the field of occupational safety and health has a key role. Prediction and planning become increasingly important in these forms of work, as the employer has only limited possibility to affect the conditions.

Cleanliness plays an important role in the safety of the work environment

All work surfaces and chairs as well as any equipment and tools used by employees must be fit for purpose and safe to use. Employees must also be able to perform any necessary lifting, carrying and storage manoeuvres safely.

Tidiness helps to prevent dangerous situations and makes cleaning easier. Access routes must be kept clear and everything in its proper place.

Comfortable staff facilities are integral to a good work environment

Employees must have access to designated personnel rooms. Facilities for eating and taking breaks, toilets, showers and changing rooms must be designed to accommodate the entire personnel. 

Steps must also be taken to prepare for emergencies. Employees must be given instructions on what to do in an emergency and how to evacuate the building. It is also the employer’s duty to keep adequate first-aid supplies in the workplace and reserve a space for administering first aid as well as to ensure fire safety and provide escape routes in an emergency.

Work environment - Työntekijöille


Instructions for employee

Report all issues with your work environment or workspace to your employer and occupational safety and health representative.

Keep your workstation organised according to your employer’s instructions. Put everything back to its proper place after use and help to keep the workspace and personnel rooms neat and tidy. Order also makes it easier to keep the workplace clean.

Make sure not to block any access routes and only use the access routes indicated in order to ensure your own safety and that of others in the workplace.

Work environment - Työnantajille


Instructions for employer

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the work environment does not put employees’ health at risk.The employer must review and assess the risk factors relating to the work environment at the workplace and plan and implement measures to eliminate or mitigate the hazards observed. The review must be updated regularly, or as the conditions change.

For example, the employer must regularly service the ventilation system in the building and remedy any issues with ventilation or indoor air quality.

If the workplace is exposed to radon radiation or work is regularly performed underground, the employer must ensure that employees are protected against radon radiation.

All areas of the workplace must be kept neat and tidy and cleaned regularly.

The employer must also provide safe vehicular and pedestrian access to the workplace and clearly indicate access routes. Internal traffic rules must be drawn up if necessary. Employees must be familiarised with the rules, and compliance with the employer’s instructions must be monitored.

Personnel rooms must be provided for taking breaks. The facilities must be wear-resistant, easy to maintain and comfortable. Personnel rooms also need to have privacy. The employer must take steps to ensure that employees are protected from the harmful effects of dust, noise and other such factors in the personnel rooms.

Personnel facilities must be designed to comply with the Finnish Building Information Foundation’s guideline 103140 on personnel facilities (2020). This guideline is based on the Finnish Occupational Safety and Health Act and on Government Decree on safety and health requirements in the workplace.

Work environment - Lainsäädäntö



Occupational Safety and Health Act (738/2002)

  • Section 10 – Analysis and assessment of the risks at work
  • Section 32 – Structural and functional safety and health of the workplace
  • Section 33 – Ventilation of workplaces and volume of workrooms
  • Section 35 – Internal traffic and transfer of goods in workplaces
  • Section 36 – Order and cleanliness
  • Section 37 – Airborne impurities
  • Section 41 – Use of machines, work equipment and other devices
  • Section 48 – Personnel rooms Government

Decree on Safety and Health Requirements in Workplaces (577/2003, in Finnish)

Government Decree on the Safe Use and Inspection of Work Equipment (403/2008)

Government Decision on manual lifting and carrying at work (1409/1993, in Finnish)