Research Information Letter: System-intelligent human factors in promoting safety in the chemical industry 2022-2024

We kindly invite you to participate in the CHEF research project.

Purpose and content of the research project

We kindly invite you to participate in the CHEF research project. CHEF creates new information and practical models for the proactive safety management in the chemical industry from the perspective of human and organizational activity. Four Finnish chemical industry organizations are participating in the research. The project will be implemented from 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2024. This information letter contains information about the research process, participation, and issues related to confidentiality and data protection.

The central aspects of the research are human factors (Human Factors, HF) and systemic intelligence. With these concepts, the research highlights the need to understand human activity and human experience in the development of work, work environments, work tools, organizations, and safety. We aim to find out how these perspectives are understood in the chemical industry today and how the subject area has been considered in practice in the development of work and safety, and in leadership and management. The result of the project is an overall description of "what is a system-intelligent mastery of human factors in promoting safety of the chemical industry". The aim of the CHEF project is to create both new knowledge and practical tools and models for workplaces, which allow them to better consider human activities and reflect own experiences in the development of activities.

Research process

The research Project includes an initial survey, three workshops and a document analysis. The communication and schedule related to the collection of the material will be agreed with the participating organizations in more detail. The research is carried out in six stages:

  1. Project organization, communication, kick-off events in the participating companies (1–4/2022)
  2. Initial survey in participating companies (survey/'quick test' and interviews (5–7/2022))
  3. Verification and clarification of results with companies (HF-info, 8-12/2022)
  4. Document analysis (throughout the project)
  5. Workshops (I-III, 11/2022–12/2023)
  6. Communication and dissemination of results (throughout the project, esp. 2023–2024)


The information collected in the study is confidential. The results of the research are presented in a form that is not personally identifiable and that does not harm the business secrets of the organizations, or the persons being researched. The results are published in scientific papers, seminars and conferences and are reported in, among other things, scientific periodicals. The subject of the research is brought up for public discussion and we conduct debates in the media, however, keeping in mind the ethical principles.

The materials collected in the study are stored confidentially and securely, the building has access control. The material collected in the study is permanently archived in the research archive of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The research data protection notice, and this research bulletin can be read until 31 December 2024 on the project's website.


Research participation – different methods

Participation in the research is voluntary and possible during research phases 1) kick-off events, 2) initial survey, interviews, and electronic survey, 3–5) workshops I–III. Before the data collection of the study, an invitation and this Information letter are sent to the subjects. No compensation is paid for participating in the study.

By participating in the different research phases of the project (survey, interviews, workshops) and by signing the informed consent document, you give your consent to include your answers in the research material of this project and as part of the safety research emphasizing the HF in safety conducted by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The material is available to the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health for research purposes in the publications, presentations and reports of this study and its related subject area.

Participation is voluntary, and you can withdraw your consent to the study without giving a reason, after which your data will no longer be used in the study. Withdrawal of consent will not affect your treatment in any way now or in the future.

Project start and kick-off events

The research project and its communication are launched, the necessary contracts are drawn up and the practical implementation and organization of the project is planned in cooperation with the target organizations. The project is announced at company-specific kick-off events (Teams). The kick-off events do not collect research material, but they are asked to tell about the company's needs and wishes regarding the project.

Initial mapping

Part a. Questionnaire, 'quick test'

The companies implement a Quick Test, which allows the research team and the companies themselves to get an overview of the mastery of human factors in the company. At the same time, the in-depth data collection that takes place in the interviews and workshops of the project is primed. The quick test contains about 10 multiple choice questions and 2–3 open questions.

The survey's target group is the personnel of the organizations participating in the study. Answering the survey is voluntary and the respondent's name is not asked. The survey asks about the person's work role and area of responsibility, however, ensuring sufficiently large groups of respondents to ensure anonymity. The time of the survey, the necessary allocations and the practical implementation will be agreed with each company. The target group will be informed about the survey in a way agreed with the company. At the same time, it is ensured that everyone belonging to the target group can participate. The survey will primarily be carried out as an online survey, but, if necessary, a paper form survey will be prepared if the online survey does not sufficiently reach the target group.

Answers to numerically reported questions are presented as graphs. The contents of the answers to the open questions are analysed and classified in such a way that they serve the evaluation of the initial situation and the planning of the collection of other research material (interviews and workshops). The results of each company will be presented to the company in question, and if separately agreed with the companies, also to other participating companies.

Part b. Interviews

Members of the CHEF research team visit the participating organizations to conduct interviews (also by teams or google meet).

The purpose of the interviews is to find out what kind of human factors management measures have been implemented in organizations, and what effects they have had. The interviews are audio-recorded, no images are saved. The interviews are carried out as individual interviews.

An individual interview lasts approx. 60–90 minutes. There are 3–5 people from each organization to be interviewed, depending on its size and organizational structure. In total, 15–20 interviews will be collected in the entire study. The content/idea of the interview is told to the interviewees in advance. The content of the interviews is recorded, decoded, and processed in a secure manner and with respect for confidentiality. Interviews are conducted face-to-face, but an online connection can be used if necessary.


Three workshops will be organized in the target companies. The organizations themselves choose the participants for the workshops; they can be employees, supervisors, management, experts, safety officers, occupational health, and safety representatives. The workshops are day-long (approx. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.) and their implementation will be agreed with the companies in more detail. The workshops have a developmental approach; through the workshop discussions, the purpose is to get feedback and test the tools developed in the project, as well as evaluate their application to the chemical industry. Data is collected from group discussions during the workshop. In the workshops, video and audio from group discussions can be recorded; participants are always told separately about the recording and its purpose.

  • In workshop I, HF training is held and the HF Tool for the chemical industry is developed.
  • Workshop II defines in which function the target company can apply the HF Tool or the content of the HF training.
  • In workshop III, the results are reviewed and summarized to evaluate and further develop the applications being developed.

Document analysis

Research material is collected through documents provided by the contact person of the participating workplace. Documents are documents describing the activities of the organization, e.g. Audit and investigation reports, breakdowns of the number of deviations and their underlying factors, work well-being or the results of safety culture surveys. They do not contain personal data or, if necessary, personal data is requested to be deleted before sending to researchers.

The data is collected in a non-personally identifiable form.

Conductors of the study

The research is carried out in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Aalto University and Riscon Oy. The research project is financed by the The Finnish Work Environment Fund and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. In addition, the research's target organizations Neste oyj, Tikkurila oy, Kraton oy and Teknikum oy participate in/finance the project (5000€ per company).

The project is supported by a steering group, which is represented by The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, Industrial Union, Trade Union Pro, The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff YTN, Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the contact persons of the target organizations.

More information

The responsible director of the study
Anna-Maria Teperi, Research Professor
Institute of Occupational Health
tel. 030 474 2371

Privacy notice

System-intelligent human factors in promoting the safety of the chemical industry (CHEF 2022-2024 -research project is carried out By the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH). The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has the ownership and right to use the collected research material. Implementation partners Riscon oy and Aalto University have access to the research material. The material is stored in FIOH in accordance with FIOH’S instructions. The research material forms a personal register, the contact details of the administrators and responsible persons can be found below.

Contact information of the keeper of the register

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 b, 00032 Helsinki, tel. 030 4741 (switchboard)
Postal address: PO Box 40, 00032 Finnish, Institute of Occupational Health

Contact information of the person responsible for the register

Anna-Maria Teperi, research professor, tel. 030 474 2371
Postal address: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 00032 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Contact information of the occupational health data protection officer

Finnish Institute of Occupational health institution/ data protection officer
PO Box 40, 00032 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, tel. 030 474 2429, e-mail: tsv [at]

Collection, processing and archiving of research material

The research material is collected from the people participating in the research with their consent through interviews, surveys, and workshops. In addition, the research material is formed based on documents submitted by the contact person of the participating workplace. The data is collected and analysed in part without identifying information (survey, document analysis) and with identifying information (interviews, workshops). When analysing the research material collected with identifying information, we use the research subject code. We report the results at the group level so that it is not possible to identify individual participants. We only use the materials for scientific research, we do not give information about individual
employees to the employer.

Researchers at the FIOH are bound by the obligation of secrecy and confidentiality. The researchers process and store the data securely on the server of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, in compliance with research legislation, as well as the valid handling of confidential materials of the FIOH and information security instructions, which guide the safe handling of the materials. Physical research material (for example, consent forms) is stored in locked rooms and locked cabinets, the building has access control. Riscon and Aalto University are also bound by the duty of silence and confidentiality. The research material they collect has been agreed in more detail in the cooperation agreement. In addition, they comply with the data protection and ethical regulations of their own organizations.

The electronic survey 'quick test' is implemented with the Webropol program. Webropol Oy's survey platform is protected by firewalls and their access rights require a user ID and password issued by the IT administration. The interview recordings are decoded into text by an operator in accordance with FIOH's procurement contract, who complies with the non-disclosure and non-disclosure agreement. Information about an individual person is not disclosed to other parties or for other purposes. The material will be permanently archived in the FIOH's research archive after the end of the research project (March 31, 2024).

Subject's rights

The subject has the right to withdraw consent by contacting the register to the responsible person. The subject has the right to request and request access to personal data concerning him, correction of identification or contact information. The subject also has the right to file a complaint about the processing of personal data with the data protection authority. The research subject does not have the right to delete his data from the register used for scientific research, as the National Archives has ordered that the Personal Registers of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health's scientific research be permanently stored. More detailed information about the general data protection policy of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is available on the FIOH website and more information can be obtained from the person in charge of the register (contact information above).

The privacy data descriptions of individual projects and research of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health