The purpose of a safety investigation is to promote general safety, the prevention of accidents and incidents, and the prevention of losses resulting from accidents. A safety investigation is not conducted in order to allocate legal liability.
The task of the Safety Investigation Authority is to investigate accidents that have occurred in aviation, rail traffic or maritime traffic, or serious incidents or accidents which, due to death or injury, the extent of harm caused to the environment, property or assets, or the nature of the accident, are deemed particularly serious. So there are five investigative branches: aviation, rail traffic, maritime traffic, other accidents, and exceptional events. In the last case, the investigative board is appointed by the government instead of the Safety Investigation Authority.
The safety investigation examines the course of events the accident, its causes and consequences, and the search and rescue actions as well as any actions taken by the authorities.
A public investigation report is prepared on the safety investigation in the scope that is appropriate in view of the seriousness of the accident. The investigation report includes an account of the course of events of the accident, the factors leading to the accident and its consequences, as well as safety recommendations addressed to the appropriate authorities and other instances regarding measures that are necessary in order to promote general safety, the prevention of further accidents and incidents, the prevention of loss and the improvement of the effectiveness of the operations of search and rescue and other authorities. Safety investigation is conducted solely for the purpose of promoting safety, and the investigation does not address issues related to culpability or responsibility or the liability for damages.
The operation of the Safety Investigation Authority is regulated by the Safety Investigation Act (525/2011).
In addition, the duties of the Safety Investigation Authority include:
1) monitoring the general organisation, planning, guidance, provision of information, and supervision of the safety investigation
2) training persons suited to the role of investigators
3) maintaining the readiness to quickly initiate an investigation
4) attending to international cooperation connected with the safety investigation field
5) issuing safety recommendations and monitoring their implementation