Finnish Institute of Occupational Health redirects is activities

Press release 56/2015, 3.11.2015

Approximately half of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health’s (FIOH) funding comes from the state budget. As the state has reduced this funding for the period 2013‒2017 by almost 40 per cent, FIOH is having to redirect its activities. Its new focus will be on the renewal of occupational health services (OHS), the promotion of Finnish work ability, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises. In developing its new services, FIOH will take advantage of the new opportunities provided by digitalization.

”Our new focus areas are mainly in accordance with our current strategy, which was renewed last year. Work life is going through huge changes. We will concentrate on the areas through which we can best support Finnish work life and Finland’s competitiveness, and in which we have strong expertise,” says Antti Koivula, Director General.

”We also want to be a pioneer in digitalization. We want to offer our clients and other interest groups well-functioning, competitive electronic services in areas from which clients will most benefit. Our clients will be part of our development process. We have already begun to create electronic services; for example, the OHS quality portal and the Finnish Zero Accident Forum’s services for members.

Reductions

FIOH aims to ensure its clients continue to receive its services. Some activities, however, will unfortunately have to be scaled down. These reductions will mainly be in systems biology research (genes and proteins), indoor air research, occupational hygiene services, and influence through knowledge, which will now focus on electronic communications. The Brain Work Research Centre’s device development work will be cut down, and occupational safety activities will become more focused. The Executive Board has already made decisions concerning the reductions in FIOH’s activities.

”We feel that these research and service areas can also be, and are also already being carried out elsewhere; for example at universities or in private companies. In this way, workplaces and work life will not suffer too much; we do not want them to pay the price of these reductions,” says Koivula

A lighter organization – activities to continue in all regional offices

In addition to reducing its activities, FIOH is carrying out other cost-cutting measures. The current matrix organization will be replaced by a clearer line management model, and workspaces will be used more cost-effectively. FIOH has operated in six different premises in Helsinki; now this will be cut down to four. Headquarters has already moved from Topeliuksenkatu to Haartmaninkatu 1 D in Helsinki.

FIOH concluded its employer-employee negotiations on 12.10.2015. Their effects on the organization’s personnel are gradually being realized; most will take place in November. In the meantime, operations continue in all offices throughout Finland: Helsinki, Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere and Turku.  

At the end of August, when negotiations began, FIOH employed 680 people. The number of redundancies will be 200 at the most. On 25.8.2015, Helsinki had 470 employees, Kuopio 65, Oulu 42, Tampere 55, and Turku 46.  

Further information:

Antti Koivula, Director General, tel. +358 30 474 2340, antti.koivula(at)ttl.fi
Matti Arola, Administrative Director, tel. +358 30 474 2913, +358 43 824 4500, matti.arola(at)ttl.fi 

FIOH researches, develops and specializes in well-being at work, and promotes the health and safety of work and workers’ well-being. It is an independent institution under public law, operating under the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. FIOH has five regional offices, and its headquarters are in Helsinki.

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The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Työterveyslaitos) researches, develops and specializes in well-being at work. It promotes occupational health and safety and the well-being of workers. It is an independent institution under public law, working under the administrative sector of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. It has five regional offices, and its headquarters are in Helsinki. It employs about 560 people.

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