The amendments of the Act on Health and Safety at Work (“Act”) have entered into force on 13 November 2015, with the exception of Article 37a which shall apply starting from 1 December 2017.
Below are the key changes of the Act.
Reducing the obligations related to passing the professional exam. The amendments increased the number of employees which determines the employer’s obligation to appoint an individual for health and safety at work who passed the professional exam. Now, the activities on health and safety at work can be performed directly by the employer with less than 20 employees provided that the employer conducts low risk business activities specified by the Act (e.g. retail trade, accommodation, financial and insurance services, etc.).
Rights of the employees’ representative for health and safety at work. A chosen representative of the employees for health and safety at work has a right of paid leave of minimum 5 working hours per month for health and safety at work activities. The employer also needs to provide appropriate technical conditions and premises for the representative to perform these activities.
Mandatory periodical testing of employees. The amendments prescribe mandatory annual testing of employee’s qualifications for health and safety work, for employees on positions with increased risk at work. For other employees, the testing needs to be performed every 4 years.
Higher level of education of appointed individual for health and safety at work. A new Article 37a of the Act prescribes that an appointed individual for health and safety at work needs to possess at least a bachelor degree, i.e. 180 ECTS credits. This Article is applicable only for employers performing certain business activities prescribed by the Act (e.g. construction, agriculture, manufacturing industry, electricity supply, water supply, waste water management health and social care, etc.). As stated above, this provision shall enter into force on 1 December 2017.