Needs for statistics can be broadly divided into two categories: monitoring of the funding and cash flows of the system on the one hand, and steering of occupational safety efforts on the other.
These needs are a direct outcome of the way in which workers’ compensation insurance is provided for in Finland. The public administration creates the framework for the system, but its implementation is entrusted to private insurance companies. It is vital for the insurers to be able to monitor risk levels in the occupational categories for which they underwrite insurance policies so that they can set their premiums appropriately. The government has always taken a special interest in occupational safety,
which is why statistics in this area have been compiled ever since the system was first set up in 1895. The first set of statistics on occupational accidents covering the entire country was Työssä sattuneet tapaturmat vuosina 1898–1900 [Accidents at work in 1898–1900] published by the National Board of Industry in the publication series Suomenmaan virallinen tilasto [Finland’s official statistics]. The tables in this publication analysed the data much along the same lines as today, e.g. by sector, by occupation and by accident severity.