Occupational health and safety

Occupational health is the application of work-related organisational and medical measures to prevent damage to the health of an employee, adaptation of work to the abilities of an employee, and promotion of the physical, mental and social well-being of an employee. Occupational health means caring for the health and safety of an employee to prevent as many risks as possible to the health of the employee.

Occupational safety is a system of work-related organisational measures and technical means to provide such a state of working environment which enables an employee to work without endangering their health.

An employer is required to ensure the conformity with occupational health and safety requirements in every work-related situation, implement prevention activities to avoid or reduce working environment risks, monitor the occupational safety situation in the enterprise, organise a risk assessment of the working environment to ascertain working environment hazards and, on the basis of that, create and implement an action plan to increase occupational safety.

An employee is required to comply with an occupational health and safety order of the employer, a working environment specialist, occupational health doctor, labour inspector and working environment representative. It is prohibited for an employee to work while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or toxic or psychotropic substances.

An employee has the right to:

  • demand that the employer provides working conditions and collective and personal protective equipment conforming to the occupational health and safety requirements;
  • receive information on working environment hazards, the results of risk assessments of the working environment, the measures implemented to prevent damage to health, the results of medical examinations, and precepts of a labour inspector addressed to the employer;
  • in case of a serious and unavoidable risk of an accident, stop work and leave their workplace or the danger area;
  • refuse to carry out work or to stop the work which endangers their health or that of other persons or does not allow to comply with environmental safety requirements, promptly notifying the employer or the employer’s representative and a working environment representative thereof;
  • on the decision of a doctor, demand from the employer to transfer them to another position temporarily or permanently or to ease their working conditions temporarily;
  • request their transfer to suitable day-time work if, by a decision of a doctor, the person’s working during night-time is inadvisable for reasons of health and the employer has the possibility to transfer the employee to such position;
  • receive compensation for damage caused to their health by the work to the extent provided for in the Law of Obligations Act;
  • contact a working environment representative, members of the working environment council, an employees’ trustee and a labour inspector of the location of the enterprise if, in their opinion, the measures implemented and the equipment provided by the employer do not ensure the safety of the working environment.

An employee is obliged to:

  • contribute to the creation of a safe working environment by observing the occupational health and safety requirements;
  • observe the working and rest time regime established by the employer;
  • undergo medical examinations pursuant to the established procedure;
  • make correct use of the prescribed personal protective equipment and keep it in working order;
  • ensure in accordance with their training and the employer’s instructions that their work is not harmful to their own life or health or that of other persons, and does not contaminate the environment;
  • use work equipment and dangerous chemicals in conformity with the requirements;
  • refrain from arbitrarily disconnecting, changing or removing safety devices fitted to tools or buildings, and use such safety devices correctly.

Supervision over the compliance with legislation regulating occupational health and safety is exercised by the Labour Inspectorate.

Last amended: 22-11-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: Labour Inspectorate