Changes in the regulation of health protection at work are coming into force
With effect from 1 December 2017, the Slovak National Council has passed the amendment to Act No. 355/2007 Coll. on protection, promotion and development of public health and on amendment of certain acts. This amendment modifies and cancels selected obligations of the employer in the area of health protection at work.
Changes will affect, in particular, the following areas:
obligation of employers to secure an occupational health service for their employees by a permanent contractual relationship is replaced by a clarification of the existing obligation of employers to ensure (in cooperation with the occupational health service) the assessment of health risks for employees arising from their exposure to a factor of work and the working environment;
public health inspectorates should prioritize during their inspections of the workplace such health risk assessments before employer´s contracts with the occupational health service;
annual assessment of the health risk will be mandatory only in workplaces where employees carry out hazardous works (3rd and 4th category). For works of 2nd category, the employers will be obliged to assess the health risk at work per each 18 months. In other cases, the employer will be obliged to prepare the health risk reassessment only upon a change in working conditions that could have an impact from health risk point of view;
obligation of the employer to maintain records of employees based on categories of work will only apply to 2nd, 3rd and 4th category; in this relation, the amendment introduces also the obligation for the employer to notify the respective public health authority annually by January 15, in an electronic form, specified data concerning employees engaged in work classified in 2nd category (however, this notification obligation will apply only after 1 July 2018).
Relevant changes should result also in decrease of financial costs of employers. Scope of the employer´s obligations in this area will depend, in particular, on the actual health hazards and the hazardous nature of the work environment.