In the year under review, our wellbeing at work efforts focused on practical safety management, workload management and work ability management.

Occupational safety and health and safety management

399,749 days of absences due to illness in 2020. (2019: 350,250)

Through a variety of campaigns and a proactive OSH approach, we reduced the number of commuting accidents, but on the other hand the number of accidents at work increased slightly. The level of accidents we attained was excellent in the national context. The incidences of accidents at HUS decreased and were at a good level.

Safety behavior in these extraordinary circumstances has been good, as witness the number of coronavirus exposure cases and resulting suspected cases of occupational illness at work. Our employees continued to have a high level of confidence that their health and safety were being looked after.

Occupational diseases and accidents 2016 – 2020
Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Occupational accidents 570 531 544 517 564
Commuting accident 474 465 511 491 400
Occupational diseases 2 3 0 14 33
Suspected occupational disease 7 6 6 24 110
Total 1,053 1,005 1,061 1,046 1,107

The increase in remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic and the weather conditions in 2020 were probably contributing factors in the decrease in commuting accidents. The increase in occupational accidents was contributed to by accidents caused by the coronavirus. The number of reports of occupational illness was considerably higher in the year of the coronavirus than in earlier years; 81 of the suspected cases of occupational illness were Covid-19 cases. Of the occupational illnesses for which reimbursement was paid, 25 were linked to Covid-19.

Accident incidence is the ratio of the number of accidents to the number of working hours, calculated as accidents per one million working hours.

Work ability management and activities

1,014 persons absent due to illness per month (2019: 952)

In work ability management, we deployed a wide range of means for adapting work duties so as to match the employee’s work ability and functional capacity. This allowed employees to continue their work or to return to work after a prolonged absence due to illness. The most frequently used means of occupational rehabilitation was the work try-out.

Compared with the previous year, the number of work try-outs decreased by 31.7%, and the number of cases of rehabilitation overall decreased by 15.4%. This decrease is partly explained by the challenges of the year of the coronavirus.

Remote work ability discussions

With the HR management reorganization, 12 OSH managers took up responsibility for work ability in their respective areas. Work ability officers assist supervisors in matters related to work ability.

At the beginning of the year under review, we introduced a digital system for work ability discussions, known as the Työhyvinvointimoduuli [Wellbeing at Work Module]. We made a digital leap in work ability discussions, as the majority of these discussions and occupational health talks were conducted over remote connections. Remote connections have brought added flexibility to discussions and made them quicker to set up.

Employees continue to regard their work ability as good

Average sick leave duration 14.8 days per person in 2020 (2019: 13.6 days)

Employees’ subjective experiences of their work ability vis-à-vis the physical and mental demands of their work has remained at a high level, above 4, since 2013. In the Working Life Barometer in 2020, personnel reported a perceived work ability of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 is the best score.

The sick leave percentage increased slightly, to 4.2%. The increase was quite pronounced during the periods when the coronavirus pandemic was escalating. Another factor behind the increase is that in the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, quarantines imposed pursuant to the Communicable Diseases Act are included in sick leave days. The number of days absent from work because of the Communicable Diseases Act was over 15,500.

The average duration of absences due to illness was 14.8 days per person, showing an increase of 1.2 days per person.

The number of short absences due to illness (1 to 3 days) decreased by 9,858 days on 2019. In 2020, short absences due to illness totaled 71,759 days (2019: 81,617) and were logged by 27,831 employees (2019: 27,270).

In diagnosis-based absences due to illness, the highest number of days absent were caused by musculoskeletal disorders and mental health disorders.

Note! The figures are affected by the current self-declaration policy.

The ratio of payroll expenses arising from HUS disability pension payments and absences due to illness on the one hand to staff expenses on the other is smaller than average by national comparison.

In the year under review, 18 employees retired on a disability pension, 5 fewer than in the previous year. The HUS disability pension contribution was 0.66% of wages and salaries in 2020, the average in the local government sector being 0.98%.

Perceived work stress has increased

We received the ‘Commuting pioneer of the year 2020’ award from Helsinki Regional Transport (HRT)

According to the Working Life Barometer, perceived work stress has increased year on year. In 2020, the workload index was 3.2 on a scale of 1 to 5.

The most overload was felt by the nursing staff when analyzed by occupational group and by the youngest employees when analyzed by age group. However, on average employees evaluated their adequacy of work ability resources during the coronavirus pandemic as good (3.78). 74% of respondents felt that they had received sufficient support. Both overload and insufficient resources were reported at 14 workplace units during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the year under review, there were 177 units with a workload score of under 3, 8 more than in the previous year. Meanwhile, the workload score had improved in several units on the previous year.

Support measures for work overload

We have offered multiple means for reducing and controlling the perceived work overload of employees. One of these is a four-tier support system for coping at work in the form of a virtual assistant (bot). Having answered the questions posed by the bot, an employee will gain recommendations on forms of support from the support system. One of the services provided is an advisory helpline.

Our support system for employee work ability was awarded a prize in the national Kunteko program for improving working life in Finnish local government as an interesting development concept

Supervisors have also experienced significant extra stress and a need for support. We have provided work counselling and coaching for them in individual and group sessions. In the year under review, 253 employees and 70 supervisors made use of these support measures. Additionally, 356 employees participated in in-house work counselling.

We reduced ergonomic loads for instance with patient transfer training. We sent out monthly ergonomics bulletins to personnel, suggesting ways in which they can reduce their workload. Employees participated actively in a variety of virtual events, wellbeing coaching sessions, recovery measurements, fitness campaigns and fitness tests.

We rewarded our top supervisors and units
We rewarded our top supervisors and units.