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Accidents at work and occupational diseases

Employers are obliged to insure their employees against accidents at work and occupational diseases in accordance with the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act. The State Treasury compensates state employees for accidents at work and occupational diseases. Compensation is paid on the basis of accident insurance for both accidents at work and occupational diseases.

Occupational accident

An accident at work refers to a sudden, unforeseeable accident caused by an external factor that results in an injury or illness that the employee has suffered

  • at work
  • in situations related to work, at the workplace or in an area belonging to the workplace, on the way from the dwelling to the workplace and vice versa
  • when he or she is carrying out duties on the employer’s behalf or when an employee tries to protect or save the employer’s property or human life in the course of his or her work activities
  • when he or she temporarily performs work as a posted employee of a Finnish employer or in the service of a parent or subsidiary of a Finnish company operating abroad

An injury that has occurred during a short period of time of no more than one day and that is not compensated as an occupational disease is also compensated as an accident at work. E.g. injury caused by a corrosive substance or soreness of a muscle or tendon caused by a movement at work.

Occupational disease

An occupational disease refers to an illness caused at work by a physical, chemical or biological agent. The recognition of a disease as an occupational disease requires a medical examination in which sufficient information on occupational exposure is available. 

Instructions in the event of an accident at work or suspected occupational disease

  • Notify your employer or immediate supervisor immediately.
  • Ask your employer for a certificate of insurance and take it with you to the medical care provider.
  • Provide your employer with all the necessary information for filing an accident report and make sure that the employer submits an accident report to the insurance company.

If the employer does not have statutory accident insurance at the time of the accident, the accident is reported to the Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions.

What compensation is available?

Detailed information on what the insurance covers can be obtained from the insurance company from which the accident insurance was taken.

The compensation includes, for example.

  1. Medical expenses, examinations, medicines and travel expenses.
  2. During a period of temporary disability, accident insurance daily allowance can be paid for a maximum period of one year.
  3. You can receive an accident pension or part of it if you have become completely incapacitated as a result of an accident or if your work ability has decreased and the disability continues for more than a year.
  4. Accident pension is paid if the disability continues more than one year after the accident.
  5. For general functional limitations caused by an injury or illness, a compensation for functional limitation is paid (not earlier than one year after the accident).

In the event of death, funeral assistance and survivors’ pensions are paid to the surviving spouse and minor children, as well as to children under the age of 25 who are studying.

More information on the topic can be found on TVK’s website.

Workers’ Compensation Act

List of occupational diseases

Education tips on the topic

You can also learn more about the topic in the online training library for working life, which is part of your member benefits. To access the courses, you must sign up to the online training library. If you have already taken advantage of your free membership benefit and started using the service, log in and click directly to the trainings from the links below. If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so in the Webinars and Courses section in the Oma+ service for our members

Workers’ Compensation Act