Occupational safety of supply chains in road freight transport

There are challenges related to managing the occupational safety of supply chains in the road transport of goods. The study provides information on the safety challenges, development needs and good practices of road freight transport supply chains that are essential to security of supply in our society. The results will provide the transport and logistics sector with means to manage the occupational safety of supply chains and anticipate deviations, which ensures the chain’s operational fluency and security of supply.
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In Finland, about 90% of goods are transported on roads to also reach those areas that are inaccessible to other modes of transport. For quite some time now, it has been recognised that there are occupational safety challenges related to the supply chains of road freight transport and their interfaces that may cause unnecessary delays and interruptions in transport and other activities of the chains.

What are the objectives of the study?

The study focuses on safety management, safety culture and the composition of the occupational safety activities of supply chains and shared workplaces. 

The objective of the study is to produce information on the following aspects of road freight transport supply chains and their shared workplaces:

  1. practices that ensure the occupational safety and well-being of the organisations and personnel,
  2. safety culture and human factors that promote or prevent safe and smooth activities,
  3. preparedness for abnormal situations as well as learning from deviations and near misses.

A further goal is to develop good practices based on these objectives. 

What does the study involve?

  1. Cooperation with transport and logistics companies
    There are six companies of different sizes participating in the study. Each participating company will receive feedback on its results. Moreover, company-specific workshops will be held to discuss the preliminary results and good practices derived from the overall research data with the additional aim of specifying and supplementing the data through the discussions.
  2. Stakeholders’ focus group discussions
    Representatives of stakeholders in the transport and logistics industry will be invited to take part in focus group discussions. These discussions will view the preliminary results of the study in a broader context, such as the perspectives of the industry, security of supply or global supply chains.
  3.  Disseminating the results
    The study results will be published by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and other operators in the field. In addition, the research group members will present the study at different events. The scientific communication will take place by means of a final report and scientific papers, and by attending domestic conferences.

Data and methods

The research approach is multi-perspective and multi-methodical. 
On a company-specific basis, the research data will be collected through

  • group interviews with managers, supervisors, occupational safety and health personnel, and employees 
  • occupational safety risk assessments as well as reports on deviations, incidents and accidents
  • research survey
  • group discussions in workshops.

In addition, research data will also be collected through focus group discussions organised for stakeholders in the industry.

Results and impact

The study will produce new information on the good practices of road freight transport supply chains and shared workplaces to ensure the occupational safety and well-being of employees. It will also produce information on safety culture, safety management and factors that promote or prevent occupational safety and well-being. The results will serve the entire transport and logistics sector and support responsible operations within the companies and organisations, supply chains and shared workplaces.

For more information about the project, please contact

Project Manager, Senior Specialist Susanna Visuri
Scientific Director of the Project, Chief Researcher Pia Perttula

Members of the research group

Researcher Jenni Kaisto
Senior specialist Henriikka Kannisto
Specialist Marika Lehtola
Senior specialist Kaisa Reuna


The Finnish Work Environment Fund and the National Emergency Supply Agency