The notification obligation referred to in the Health Protection Act applies to premises or functions that affect a large number of people or special groups and functions the hygienic conditions of which require special obligations.
Before commencing operations, the operator must apply for a building permit or find out from building inspection whether the planned premises are suitable for the intended purpose. The start of operations in the planned premises must be approved by the building inspection authority.
A notification in accordance with the Health Protection Act must be submitted no later than 30 days before the commencement of operations, substantial changes to operations or a change of operator to the Lahti environmental health services for the following functions:
- accommodation establishment
- gym or other exercise facility open to the public
- day care centre, club, youth centre
- educational institution or other place of education providing pre-school or basic education, vocational education, general upper secondary education or higher education
- social services unit providing continuous care (assisted or 24-hour service housing unit, children’s home)
- tanning salon, tattoo shop, beauty parlour or other premises with skin treatment activities
- premises or establishments that may cause a health hazard, taking into account its number of users or nature of activities
The Lahti environmental health services will inspect the submitted notification and send the operator a certificate of the processing of the notification and, if necessary, carry out the inspection referred to in section 45. The processing of the notification on the commencement and substantial change of operations is subject to a charge. After the notification is processed, the notified operations will become subject to systematic monitoring. Inspections of notified sites are carried out periodically in accordance with the monitoring plan and when needed due to a customer complaint or an indoor air problem at the site, for example.
According to the Health Protection Act (763/1994), a business operator has an obligation to identify the health risks related to their operations, monitor the factors affecting them and prevent the occurrence of health hazards as far as possible. This is called self-monitoring. Self-monitoring also includes the recording of any notifications and measures related to health conditions and the retention of these documents.
It is recommended that the operator draw up a written self-monitoring plan describing the operations, the risk factors arising from the operations and the prevention of these risks. During inspections in accordance with the monitoring plan, the operator must, on request, show the health protection authority how the health risks affecting the operations have been identified, how their severity has been assessed and what risk management measures the operator has adopted in their operations.
The self-monitoring plan should be available to everyone at the site and should be utilised in the development of the operations. Click the link for more information about self-monitoring.
You can find additional information about the requirements for establishments intended for operations subject to notification by clicking the attached links or contacting the environmental health services. The forms can be found under the section ‘Ympäristöterveyden lomakkeet’ on the Finnish site.