Although notable workplace accidents had been investigated in the past whenever possible, systematic investigative work was begun in earnest in the 1970s. In 1971, three years after a ship fire in Turku had killed four workers, FAII set up a system to investigate accidents of a catastrophic nature.
The investigation system soon proved useful as Finland’s worst peacetime workplace accident took place on 13 April 1976 in Lapua when 40 employees were killed in an explosion at a cartridge factory.
Today, the investigation of occupational accidents is referred to by the Finnish acronym TOT. The system has contributed to a significant reduction in the number of fatal workplace accidents over the years. The investigation reports are available online in the TOTTI system.
In addition to accident investigation, FAII began collecting statistics on the level of individual damages and policies of statutory accident insurance in the early 1970s. Statistics have played an important role in monitoring the insurance stock and the development of damages and compensation. Reliable statistics have also greatly helped direct efforts to improve safety at work.
The statistics had no shortage of data as the number of reported accidents reached a peak of nearly 270,000 in 1974.
FAII’s own occupational safety department was established in 1974 with the hiring of an occupational safety manager and an occupational safety engineer.
At the start of the decade, FAII’s representative was Pentti Virtanen (1971-1972) and in 1972, Altti Aurela was appointed the first full-time Managing Director of FAII. The following year, however, he was elected director of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Insurance Unit, and the former representative Virtanen was appointed as the new Managing Director (1973-1988).
A new milestone in Finnish accident insurance was reached at the end of the decade when in 1979, the number of insured employees surpassed two million.