We represented Posti Ltd in the matter that concerned the obligation imposed by the occupational health and safety authority to maintain the minimum temperature, defined by a degree, in Posti’s Rovaniemi terminal. On 12 May 2020, the Supreme Administrative Court issued a decision approving Posti’s appeal and annulling the decisions of the Administrative Court and the Regional State Administrative Agency. In addition, the Northern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency is ordered to reimburse Posti’s legal costs by EUR 7,000.
By the decision made on 2 February 2017, the Northern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency’s area of responsibility for occupational health and safety obliged Posti, under threat of fine, to correct the situation which according to the Regional State Administrative Agency was not fulfilling the legal safety requirements at the Rovaniemi terminal. According to the authority, the temperature of the terminal had to be at least +17 degrees in the working area. The Administrative Court amended the decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency so that Posti would have had to ensure that the temperature in the loading and unloading premises was at least +13 degrees. Based on the Agency’s decision, one of the main questions was whether the terminal work should at all be considered as indoor work.
In its complaint, Posti primarily demanded the annulment of the decisions of the Administrative Court and the Regional State Administrative Agency and cancellation of the penalty payment imposed.
In its decision, the Supreme Administrative Court considers that, taking into account the special characteristics of the terminal as a working environment, the nature of the work, Posti’s measures to improve employees’ safety as well as other evidence presented in the case, the authority’s requirement of the minimum terminal temperature must be considered not only inappropriate in relation to the objective pursued but also economically and technically disproportionate.