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Occupational safety and health in Ukraine: main requirements

Ensuring non-hazardous and safe working environment for their employees is a priority for any employer.

In order to avoid troubles with representatives of occupational safety and health inspection and eliminate the risk of enterprise existence an employer should take care of many things the main of which are listed below:

1. Create an occupational safety and health department.

Such department must be created at an enterprise without fail. It is worth noting that the structure of the department has its differences depending on the number of employees.

  • If the company employs 50 or more workers, it is required to draft the Regulation on occupational safety and health department of a particular enterprise, define structure of such department, the number of its employees, main tasks, functions and rights of its employees. 
Besides, it is required to approve job descriptions for department’s officials which define their duties, rights and liability.
  • If there are less than 50 employees, a separate department is not created and the functions of occupational safety and health department can be transferred as a secondary job to persons who have proper training. And enterprises with less than 20 employees can hire independent occupational safety practitioners. 
  • Such practitioners must sign a contract for the provision of appropriate services, and must have not less than 3 years of work experience and education in the field of occupational safety and health.

2. Create and approve instructions and other documents on occupational safety and health at the enterprise.

Employer is obligated to approve the above-mentioned documents to regulate the work of the occupational safety and health department. These documents must provide rules for conduction of work and employees’ behavior within the territory of enterprise, in manufacturing facilities, on construction sites and working places. 

Instructions and other documentation on occupational safety and health are created based on provisions of legislation in the field of occupational safety and health, typical instructions and technical documentation of an enterprise with consideration of type of enterprise’s specialty and particular working environment of it.

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3. Organize conduction of trainings on issues of occupational safety and health.

During the working process, several occupational safety and health briefings should be conducted:

The first or introductory briefing is carried out before the start of the work of a new employee. It consists of:

  • information on future working conditions;
  • information about all dangerous or harmful production factors, and their possible impact on the life and health of the employee.

An occupational safety specialist is responsible for conducting the induction briefing;

  1. New employees also get through the induction briefing at the workplace, which includes the necessary training. The induction briefing is carried out by the immediate supervisor of the employee;
  2. Repeated briefings (once a quarter or once every six months);
  3. Unscheduled briefings can be carried out when changing the rules of occupational safety, changes in equipment or in case of violation by the employee of the rules of occupational safety, etc.
  4. Target briefings, which are carried out if it is necessary to perform some one-time work.

Information about the briefings is entered in the appropriate log and is certified by the signatures of the instructor and the person who has undergone the briefing.

4. Organize training and examination of knowledge of employees on matters of occupational safety and health.

Training on occupational safety and health for workers engaged in high-risk works can be carried out both directly at the enterprise and by another business entity that has the necessary skills.

Such training s can be organized directly at an enterprise or by another business entity which provides such training. Examination of knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health must be conducted by the enterprise’s commission which consists of persons that are approved by the director of the enterprise.

An enterprise must have its own approved regulations on occupational safety and health training as well as schedules of training and examination of knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health. All the employees must be acquainted with these documents.

Our services: Organization of occupational safety and health at an enterprise

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5. Organize medical examinations.

There is a list of mandatory pre-employment medical examinations  that the employer is obligated to organize at his own expense:

  • a pre-employment medical examination when an employee is hired for the job related to  harmful or dangerous labor conditions or the the need for professional selection;
  • periodic medical examinations of employees engaged in the above works;
  • an annual obligatory medical examination of employees who are under 21.

List of professions, manufacturing processes and organizations employees of which are subject to obligatory professional medical examinations and procedures of their conduction are approved by the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine number 559 dated 23.05.2001. Their schedule, location and list of doctors who conduct the examination are approved by chief physicians of medical establishments which conduct such examinations. Medical examinations result in expert’s report about the ability of an employee to perform his duties which are included in his medical record that are to be kept by the employer.

Related article: Is it necessary to obtain medical practice license for an infirmary?

6.Provide employees with personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment includes:

  • special clothing, footwear and other means of individual protection necessary for performance of works with  harmful and dangerous labor conditions and works related to pollution or adverse temperature conditions; 

Important! It is prohibited to provide money for purchase of such equipment. If an employee buys the personal protection equipment (PPE)  at his/her expense, for violation of the terms of their free provision, then the employer is obligated to reimburse him/her the amount of money spent for such purchase.

  • soap, which is an obligatory PPE for work related to pollution;
  • detergents and disinfectants must always be available at work where skin exposure of skin to harmful substances on the skin is possible;
  • milk should be provided in the amount of 0.5 liters per shift at any kind of work with harmful working conditions;
  • carbonated salt water - for workers in hot workshops and production sites.

7.Complete certification of workplaces.

Enterprises, the technological process of which involves equipment, raw materials that are potential sources of harmful and dangerous industrial factors which can negatively influence the health of workers must undergo certification of workplaces. 

Such certification is performed by certification commission members and authority of which are approved by the order within term that is provided by the collective bargain but not less than once in 5 years. Information about the results of such certification is included in work environment card.

Related article: Requirement to staff, which are engaged in the transportation of dangerous cargo and waste

8. Keep records of work accidents.

The Law of Ukraine provides that the employer is obligated to organize investigation and keep a record of work accidents and occupational diseases

Such investigation must result in drafting of:

  • an act in accordance with form N-5 (if an accident is recognized as such that is not related to production);
  • form N-1 (if it is related to production).

One of the copies must be provided for an injured person or another interested person not later than 3 days since the moment of investigation completion.

Conclusions

In addition to mentioned points the legislation calls for some other obligations related to occupational safety and health. Some of them seem to be declarative (for example obligation to implement progressive technologies) but other must be obligatorily fulfilled by employers (for example requirements related to labor of women, underage and disabled persons, requirement to file reports about level of occupational safety and health).

If you have any questions about the implementation of occupational safety and health at the enterprise, you can get in touch with our lawyers for legal advice.

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