Updated last 26.03.2021
Healthy and safe working conditions (HSWC) are work conditions that do not lead to occupational diseases and accidents at work and create a prerequisite for full physical, psychological and social wellness of the employees. The healthy conditions are those that eliminate the harmful impact of any work-related tasks and activities. Safe are the conditions at work that protect the physical and psychological integrity of the employees.
What are the main obligations of the employer related to ensuring a healthy and safe working environment?
The employer shall ensure safe and healthy working conditions in the following three directions:
- Prevention of occupational risks, through assessment of the possible risks and undertaking of measures of limitation and mitigation thereof;
- Provision of information and training;
- Ensuring the required organization and means.
- The employer’s basic obligations to that regard include:Assessment of the work place risk and determination of measures for ensuring of occupational safety and health;
- Establishment of the necessary organization for exercising control in relation to the planned measures;
- Singing an agreement with Labour Medicine Service;
- Ensuring compliance with the regulatory provisions and requirements related to certain risks;
- Making the work places in conformity with the requirements for safe and healthy working conditions;
- Ensuring the use by employees working in hazardous conditions of personal protection clothes and equipment;
- Delivery of initial and regular health and safety at work instructions;
- For the employees working night shifts, provision of food, refreshments and working conditions alleviating the negative effects of night work. making easier their work during the night time;
- Estimate of the specific threats and dangers for the employees in need of special protection, including the ones with disability, etc.
The employer should guarantee that each employee has been provided with appropriate training (in the form of an instructions session). The instructions shall be held:
- upon starting work;
- at moving to another job;
- at change of the job and at introduction of new of new work equipment or technology or change of the same;
- periodically for maintenance and supplementing the knowledge of the employees in relation to the occupational safety and health.
Taking the above into consideration, the instructions could be induction at the employee’s work place; periodical, daily and regular; and extraordinary (in case of work accident, fire, natural calamity, etc.).
The workers and employees, whose job is related to use, servicing and maintenance of machines and other technical apparatuses, as well as the workers and employees engaged in activities, creating danger to their health and safety, shall mandatory pass instructions, be trained and pass an exam on the rules for ensuring safe and healthy working conditions.
All costs related to ensuring health and safety at work are at the expense of the employer.
The employee has the right to refuse performing work or stop working, when there is serious and immediate danger for his/her life/health, about which the employee should notify his/ he direct superior immediately.
Prophylactic medical exams
All employees are subject to mandatory preliminary (at commencing work, at moving to another job in the same enterprise with higher risk of occupational injury, etc.) and periodic prophylactic medical exams, which are at the expense of the employer. Employees between 18 and 40 years of age have the right to prophylactic exams once every five years, and employees over 40 years of age – once every three years. If the employees work in conditions hazardous for their health, they have the right to more frequent prophylactic medical exams.
Work conditions committees and groups in companies
Companies employing more than 50 people should establish a working conditions committee (in enterprises with 5 to 50 employees a working conditions group shall be appointed). The committee / group includes representatives of the employer and the employees that discuss activities to be carried out in order to protect the health of the employees and create safe working conditions and environment.
Important to know
The employer is obliged to keep the following documents related to ensuring health and safety at work:
For more information
Additional information on the specific obligations of the employer and the employees for ensuring and complying with the health and safety requirements at work is available here.