Changes in legislation on carcinogens – impact on the workplace (ASA)

The ASA legislation on the monitoring of workers exposed to carcinogenic substances and methods was revised in 2020. The study will examine what occupational safety and health measures the new legislation has brought about at workplaces and how the measures taken under the legislation promote workers’ health and safety.
Teollisuustyöntekijä osoittaa sormella varoitusmerkkiä.




The objective of the study is to increase the direct benefits of ASA registration for workplaces. The ASA Register is a register of people exposed to carcinogenic substances and methods in their work. The study aims to demonstrate that the registration can be more than a matter of filling in a compulsory form; it can be a clear part of the practical risk assessment at the workplace and the occupational health care provider’s workplace review. The ASA registration process can help the workplace with risk assessment and risk management planning. The project will gather good practices from workplaces and compile them for sharing on a wider scale. Improving the quality of carcinogen risk assessment will increase safety and the sense of safety at workplaces.

The use of ASA Register data by public authorities will also be developed. The better use of ASA Register data will help authorities focus both their practical inspection activities and other policy actions more effectively.

The results of the study will be compared with the ASA study carried out in the late 1990s. This will provide information on the impact of the new ASA legislation and changes in working conditions.


Data and methods

The study will be carried out through a survey sent to occupational health care providers and workplaces that have submitted an ASA notification. From among the respondents, a number of companies will be selected for site visits, where occupational safety and health personnel will be interviewed and practical activities related to the use of carcinogenic chemicals will be observed. With the companies’ permission, their occupational health care staff may also be interviewed. The ASA Register will provide information on the reasons why some companies have given up ASA registration.

The study will also include sending a survey on ASA issues and their enforcement to occupational safety and health inspectors. Some of the inspectors who respond to the survey will be interviewed.

Results and impact

The study will provide information on how the sectors and exposure agents included in the ASA Register have changed as a result of the legislative changes and developments in work tasks and techniques, among other things. The good practices in the ASA registration process identified in the study will help companies and occupational health care providers make better use of the registration data in practical risk assessment and management, as well as in occupational health cooperation. Up-to-date ASA Register data will help occupational safety and health authorities focus their enforcement efforts and monitor the state of the working environment. 

Inquiries regarding the project

Tuula Liukkonen

Tuula Liukkonen

tuula.liukkonen [at]
+358 30 474 3208
Milja Koponen

Milja Koponen

milja.koponen [at]
+358 30 474 7000


The Finnish Cancer Registry and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health


The Finnish Work Environment Fund and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health