Methods of supervision
Supervision conducted by Tukes is risk based. Risk based means that Tukes mainly focuses supervision on targets that pose the greatest risks or on areas in which Tukes’ supervision will have the greatest effect.
In addition to supervision, Tukes offers advice, guidance and communication, and organises numerous training sessions and events.
Tukes promotes safety and compliance together with other authorities, organisations and businesses.
Tukes supervises the safety and compliance of products and chemicals. The authorities do not normally conduct advance inspections or approvals of products and chemicals. Instead, Tukes monitors products and chemicals on the market and on sale to consumers in brick-and-mortar stores and in online stores in Finland. This is called market surveillance. However, biocides and plant protection products are subject to an advance approval procedure.
Market surveillance is targeted at the following:
- product documentation
- markings and labels on products
- procedures for demonstrating compliance.
Tukes carries out risk-based and spot-check supervision. This means that Tukes focuses supervision on products with the greatest safety risks or deficiencies in compliance.
Tukes conducts supervision
- in a project-oriented manner, by selecting a product group as the target of supervision.
- by inspecting products sold in shops and by purchasing products and chemicals, such as cosmetics, for further inspection and testing.
- based on notifications and reports of accidents and dangerous situations.
Tukes does not inspect every product on the market. Tukes conducts spot-checks on a small proportion of products and chemicals.
The most common methods of market surveillance by Tukes
- bans and orders
- removing products from the market
- product recalls
- advice and guidance.
Bans and orders
If a product has safety defects, or a product or service does not comply with the appropriate requirements, Tukes may issue a non-inclusion decision of a product or service. Tukes may order a company to stop supplying products to retailers and retailing or otherwise conveying products. Tukes may also order a company to alter a product or activity so that it complies with legislation or take certain measures, such as producing documentation required by legislation.
Removing products from the market
If a product has significant safety deficiencies or does not properly comply with the appropriate requirements, Tukes may order the product to be removed from the market.
Removing a product from the market means that the company is required to:
- stop selling or conveying the product
- Take swift action in order to collect any products from the retailers.
If a product has serious safety deficiencies that are hazardous to health, property of the environment, Tukes may issue an order for a product recall.
A product recall means that the company must remove the product from the market, but also:
- take action to recall the products that do not comply with the appropriate requirements from consumers or other end users
- inform consumers and other end users about the hazard caused by the product and ask consumers and end users to return the product. This communication must be as extensive as possible and targeted in a manner that will reach as many of the consumers that possess the product as possible.
Monitoring of consumer services
Tukes monitors the safety of consumer services through inspection visits and surveillance of documents. There are two bases for this surveillance:
- Based on notifications made to Tukes:
Service providers have a statutory obligation to report serious accidents and close calls that occur in the service. In addition, anyone can submit a notification to Tukes about a dangerous service. Tukes processes all notifications. Surveillance methods vary from case to case.
- Based on an annual surveillance plan:
Every year, Tukes conducts surveillance projects, for which the topics and targets are selected based on Tukes’ expertise and the accidents or changes that occurred in services.
Service providers are not required to notify Tukes about starting a new service, nor does Tukes conduct advance approval of services. Tukes does not inspect all consumer services.
Tukes has the following methods of supervision and powers regarding the safety of services intended for customers:
- right to access information about the service that is essential for supervision
- right to carry out spot checks
- negotiations with service providers to eliminate identified risks
- ordering service providers to rectify non-compliance detected in a service
- interrupting a service
- ordering service providers to implement actions at their own cost
- issuing temporary bans and imposing fines to observe the bans
- preventing dangerous practices in consumer services
- ordering service providers to publish information
- right to request assistance from the police, if necessary.
To support its supervision activities, Tukes publishes instructions and forms for service providers. In addition, Tukes organises training and provides advice on issues related to the safety of services. Tukes participates in international cooperation with authorities in other countries.
Supervision of institutions
Tukes supervises industrial operations in advance through issuing licences, conducting inspection visits according to inspection plans and, if necessary, in connection with accident investigations. Mining operations, the use of dangerous chemicals in industry and the transmission of natural gas require a licence. The use of pressure equipment is supervised through targeted control visits and the supervision of technical inspections that are conducted. Such inspections must be conducted by an inspection body approved by Tukes.
Control visits to industrial sites are risk based and conducted based on the risk and estimated safety level of the site.
- advance supervision through the licence procedure: mining operations, the use of dangerous chemicals, the transmission of natural gas
- processing of safety reports
- commissioning and periodic inspections
- other control visits
- supervision by inspection bodies
- commissioning technical inspections, follow-up surveillance using registers
- in exceptional cases, imposing a fine, a non-inclusion decision
Supervision of equipment and competence
The installation of electrical equipment, oil and gas equipment and refrigeration equipment requires specific qualifications. This is to ensure the compliance of the equipment. Tukes registers and assesses companies engaged in such installation work.
Only companies approved by Tukes are permitted to carry out inspections of pressure equipment, electrical equipment, and certain oil containers
Advance approval of chemicals
Plant protection products and certain biocidal products require a licence from Tukes before they can be sold and used in Finland. All biocidal products will be subject to an authorisation procedure once the active substances for biocides have been assessed by the end of the transitional period of the Biocidal Products Regulation.
In the authorisation procedure of plant protection products and biocidal products, Tukes assesses the risks caused by the product and decides on the conditions for approval. The use of products must be safe to health and the environment.