Preventing and reducing violence at work is the responsibility of the organization. It should be part of every job’s occupational safety management and general safety culture.
The following provisions of the Finnish Act are particularly relevant:
- Section 27, subsection 1: The work and working conditions in jobs entailing an evident threat of violence shall be so arranged that the threat of violence and incidents of violence are prevented as far as possible. Accordingly, appropriate safety arrangements and equipment needed for preventing or restricting violence and an opportunity to summon help shall be provided at the workplace.
- Section 27, subsection 2: The employer shall draw up procedural instructions for such jobs and workplaces as referred to in subsection 1. In the instructions, controlling threatening situations must be considered in advance and practices for controlling or restricting the effects of violent incidents on the employees’ safety must be presented. When necessary, the functioning of the safety arrangements and equipment must be checked.
- Section 29, subsection 1: If an employee works alone and as a result the work entails evident hazards or risks to the employee’s safety or health, the employer shall ensure that the hazard or risk is avoided or minimized while the employee is working alone. The employer shall also, considering the nature of the work, provide an opportunity for necessary communication between the employee and the employer, the representative appointed by the employer or other employees. The employer shall also ensure that there is an opportunity to summon help.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires the protection of employees from violence and the threat of violence. Keep in mind that changes are made to legislation from time to time. Good safety management means keeping abreast of all valid acts and decrees. Information about legislative amendments can be found e.g. online.
More relevant acts and decrees in Finland:
- Employment Accidents Act
- Occupational Health Care Act
- Criminal Code
- Coercive Measures Act, Section 1, subsection 1