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Electrical works in Finland

In Finland electrical works are for safety reasons regulated by law and law-related regulations. These regulations lay down binding requirements, which cover e.g.:

  • what kind of qualifications are needed to do electrical works
  • what kind of inspections are required
  • what are the technical requirements for the installations
  • how safety is maintained during electrical works


Basic authorisation requirements

Qualification requirements for the supervisor of electrical works
Notification of electrical works
Duties of the supervisor of electrical works
Inspections
Technical installation rules
Rules for safe working
Laws and other regulations

Basic authorisation requirements

All electrical work related to the construction and repair of electrical installations is authorised with the following conditions. These conditions also apply to the repair and maintenance of electrical appliances and electrical machines:

  • A sufficiently qualified person is appointed as a supervisor of electrical works. This person has to be in an employment relationship with the entrepreneur performing electrical works. Usually one supervisor of electrical works is nominated for one entrepreneur.
  • Persons who, under the control of the supervisor of electrical works, independently carry out or supervise electrical work must have sufficient professional skills.
  • The necessary tools and measuring instruments and premises are available, as well as safety regulations and standards.
  • A formal notification is sent to Tukes (the Safety Technology Authority in Finland) before electrical work activities are commenced for the first time. With the notification the entrepreneur (a company or an individual person) proves through included attachments that the stated requirements are fulfilled.

 

The only area where authorization rules do not apply, are so-called everyman works. These are:

  • replacement of connection cords of appliances, construction and repair of single-phase extension cords, connection and repair of domestic non-fixture lamps
  • work in installations having a nominal voltage not exceeding 50 V a.c. or 120 V d.c.
  • certain everyday measures of equipment, such as replacement of a fuse, if live parts are protected from direct contact.

 

For the construction of electrical appliances and delivery of them onto the market, the requirements of the EU's Low Voltage Directive (LVD) and EMC Directive apply.

Qualification requirements for the supervisor of electrical works

The qualification is proved by a certificate of qualification, which are issued in three categories:

  • Category 1 (S1) covers all kinds of electrical works.
  • Category 2 (S2) covers all installation and repair works not exceeding 1000 V.
  • Category 3 (S3) covers repair works of appliances and machines not exceeding 1000 V.

 

These categories also apply to foreigners. However, in certain cases the validity field of a qualification is defined according to the professional experience acquired in another country of the EEA.

 

As a general rule, the requirements for the certificate of qualification consists of three main elements:

  • sufficient education in the electrical field
  • sufficient electrical working experience
  • the passing of the electrical safety examination

 

The certificates of qualification are issued by Henkilö- ja yritysarviointi SETI Oy (www.seti.fi), which is the nominated evaluation body in Finland. Further details about qualification requirements can be asked for there. The evaluation body also takes into account education and working experience obtained in a foreign country.

The electrical safety examinations are arranged twice a year in certain Finnish educational institutes specified for electrical engineering. The examination languages are the two official languages of Finland: Finnish and Swedish. Detailed information on dates, places and requirements can be found here in Finnish and Swedish.

 

The evaluation body also can issue the Finnish certificate of qualification on a basis of a corresponding foreign certificate. In addition, the certificate of qualification can be issued on the basis of professional experience according to directive 2005/36/EC.

Notification of electrical works

Before starting electrical work activities, a formal notification has to be made to TUKES. In the notification a company or an individual shows that the stated requirements have been fulfilled. You can find the notification form SL1 and fill-in instructions here.

The following has to be attached to the notification:

 

The notification has to be signed with both the company's and the supervisor's signature.

Tukes handles the notification, and if the requirements are complied with, sends confirmation to the applicant and adds the information of the company or an individual to the Electrical Entrepreneurs Register (in Finnish).

In addition to electrical qualification evaluation and notification of electrical works, a foreign company and an individual has also general obligations, common to all areas of trade and work, such as giving notification to the Finnish Trade Register, licences for work and residence permits, etc. Further information can be found in the following links:

 

FOREIGN COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUAL PERSONS WORKING IN FINLAND

General provisions:

 

Special provisions for electrical works:

  • First step:
    Contact Henkilö- ja yritysarviointi SETI Oy for electrical qualification evaluation www.seti.fi
  • Second step:
    Send a formal notification (with our form SL1) to Tukes before commencing working activities

Duties of the supervisor of electrical works

The supervisor of electrical works is responsible for all electrical safety related matters. He is responsible for seeing that:

  • electricians and other persons taking part in work operations have sufficient professional skills and that they are sufficiently trained and they have received sufficient instruction to the tasks given
  • safety rules are maintained during electrical works
  • installations, equipment and appliances, and parts of them, which are ready to be taken into use, are safe and comply with technical rules. A commissioning inspection (by the installer) is made prior to commissioning, and, where necessary, a certification inspection (third party inspection) is performed
  • other safety related requirements are fulfilled.

 

The entrepreneur must provide the supervisor of electrical works with operational power so that he can fulfil his tasks sufficiently.

Inspections

The Finnish electrical safety regulations lay down three kinds of inspections: the commissioning inspection, the certification inspection and the periodical inspection.

Installation work has to be inspected thoroughly by the installer. This commissioning inspection has to be done for all kinds of installation work whether large or small. A record of the inspection has to be drawn up, signed and given to the client. The commissioning inspection includes both visible observations as well as certain measuring activities and tests. For an ordinary installation the necessary measuring activities and tests are defined in the Finnish installation standard SFS 6000, which corresponds to the international IEC and European HD 60 364 -series standards.

For larger installations and for certain special installations, a certification inspection has to be performed by an authorized inspector or an authorized inspection body. The entrepreneur must order the certification inspection, and the results must be given to the owner of the installation. For residential buildings, certification inspection is required for a building containing more than two apartments. For other buildings and outdoor installations, certification inspection is required, if the main switchboard fuses are rated at over 35 A. In modification and extension works, the certification inspection is generally required for works where part of the installation is rated at over 35 A. For certain special premises, such as installations in medical locations and installations for explosive atmospheres, the limit for certification inspection is much lower.


Contact lists of authorized inspectors:
authorized inspection bodies
authorized inspectors

Authorized inspectors and inspection bodies also perform periodic inspections. Periodic inspections are required for all other installations except those for residential buildings. Also smal installations, not exceeding 35 A main fuse, are excluded. The inspection interval is usually 10 years. The owner or tenant of the building (installation) is responsible for ordering the periodic inspection.

Technical installation rules

The technical safety regulations are considered to be fulfilled if certain standards are complied with. The list of these standards is maintained in TUKES instruction letter S10, which can be found in our web-pages www.tukes.fi (in Finnish and Swedish only).

The most important standards are:

  • SFS 6000 Low voltage electrical installations (based on the IEC and CENELEC 60 364 -series, available in Finnish and Swedish)
  • SFS 6001 High voltage electrical installations (based on the CENELEC HD 637, available in Finnish and Swedish)


These standards are in most detail in accordance with corresponding international or European standards, but, some significant deviations do exist.

Other listed standards in S10 deal with installations in explosive atmospheres, overhead power lines, railway applications, test equipment, stationary batteries and installations for neon lights and similar equipment.

Rules for safe working

The Finnish Occupational Safety and Health Act (738/2002) is applied to all kinds of works. In addition, Electrical Safety Act (1135/2016) states special rules for electrical works. These are considered to be fulfilled if the Finnish standard SFS 6002 is complied with.

Standard SFS 6002 is based on the European standard EN 50 110-1. However, there are many important national additions which are based on long-term practices for safe work methods in Finland. Similar arrangements exist in most European countries.

 

According to Electrical Safety Act (1135/2016) and Government Decree of Electrical Works and Operational Works (1435/2016) all workers shall be trained and instructed so that his or her knowledge continually corresponds to the requirements of the works. According to standard SFS 6002 general training of electrical safety hazards and safe working methods should be given to all persons involved in electrical works, a training certificate issued, and the training should normally be renewed every fifth year.

Laws and other regulations

  • Electrical safety act (1135/2016)
  • Government decree of electrical installations (1434/2016)
  • Government decree of electrical works and operational works (1435/2016)

 

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