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Development of Occupational Health and Safety in the Republic of Karelia
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The purpose of the project was to compare the occupational health and safety legislation and statistics in Finland and Russia and to develop a system for statistics.

Main activities

• to get reliable information based on assessments in situ about the state of the working environment in the Republic of Karelia, as well as define the underlying reasons. • to get information about the needs of local companies and authorities for developing working environments • to create a ground profile about the situation of occupational health and safety in Karelia, based on which it would be able to prioritise the needs of occupational health and safety work in the Republic of Karelia. • to develop risk management and occupational illness diagnostics in Finland and issue information about occupational work protection for neighbouring cooperation-related needs.


The project compared the legislation, occurrence and statistics of occupational accidents and illnesses and their differences in Finland and the Republic of Karelia. It was noticed that the laws deal with similar preventative matters of occupational accidents and health hazards, but that their emphasis and accuracy differ from each other to some extent. The differences varied most in the control of occupational protection, which was particularly evident in practical control work and in the safety activities of the workplaces themselves. For example, visits and inspections of workplaces could not be performed as much in Karelia as in Finland, because there were noticeably fewer occupational safety officers there. A significant variation was noted in the independent participation of personnel to occupational safety work in the workplaces. Because of legislation, social security and the insurance system, the statistics of occupational accidents and illnesses varied so much that they were not directly comparable. However, the project collected a great deal of information, which formed a good framework for continuing the cooperation. The project achieved a thorough dialogue and mutual understanding about the development targets and also increased the understanding of a different working environment and culture. The project organised practical training with regard to workplace visits, risk assessment practices, occupational illness diagnostics and health inspection procedures. Additionally, practical measuring exercises were organised in the Karelian Pelletti and the Petrozavodsk paper mill plant, and the facilities received a lot of information concerning their work environments and practical risk assessment in addition to measuring procedures to plan their risk assessments. The training widened perspectives and occupational skills and motivated them to develop occupational health and safety activities. The focus of activities in the future should be transferred to risk management and planning the project financing so that the Karelian cooperation partners also assume more responsibility about the content and progress of the project. The project provided comparative information about the situation and possibilities of occupational protection. The institutional structures of occupational protection are very different. This information can be used in the cross-border business and investment planning of Finnish companies. Equally, when importing goods from the other side of the border, it is important to know the prevailing norms of occupational protection.

Basic information


Development of Occupational Health and Safety in the Republic of Karelia


2002-08-01 - 2006-02-28

Total Budget / Programme funding

251 772 € / 222 100 €

Lead partner

The District Occupational Health Institute of Oulu
Lead partner web-site


Centre of State Sanitary-Epidemiologic Control
The East Finland Occupational Health and Safety District
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health