Occupational Health and Safety Requirements for Specific Areas of Activity1

 

Government of the Republic Regulation of 21 December 1999

entered into force 1 January 2000

 

This Regulation is established on the basis of subsection 4 (5) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act

 

Chapter 1

General Provisions

 

§ 1. Scope of application

(1) These Requirements apply to workplaces in all areas of activity, except construction and extractive industries. These Requirements do not apply to workplaces on board fishing vessels, on arable and forest land forming part of an enterprise and inside means of transport.

(2) Upon the design and furnishing of new workplaces, the requirements of this Regulation shall be taken as a guide.

 

§ 2. General requirements

(1) The employer shall ensure that the risk factors present in the working environment do not endanger or damage the health of workers and that the work process does not cause physical or mental stress to workers.

(2) In the event of considerable physical or mental stress, working in a forced position for an extended period of time or monotonous work, the employer shall ensure that the working tempo is suitable and enable breaks to be included in the working time for workers.

(3) The employer shall implement measures in order to avoid a situation where a worker works alone for an extended period of time if this would involve a risk of accident or violence.

(4) The employer shall ensure that workplaces and work equipment are in good technical condition, regularly maintained and cleaned to an adequate level of hygiene.

(5) The employer shall ensure that the safety equipment and devices intended to prevent or eliminate hazards are regularly maintained and checked.

(6) If the working environment undergoes modifications which include the location of workplaces, changes in or renewal of technology or the use of work equipment or materials, these modifications shall comply with these Requirements.

(7) In order to comply with these Requirements, the employer shall, when planning measures, consult with workers and the working environment representatives, take their proposals into account and involve them in the implementation of the measures.

 

Chapter 2

Requirements for Workplaces

 

§ 3. Worker’s work position and movements

(1) A workplace shall be designed such as to allow the worker to change his or her position and find a suitable work position.

(2) The size of the free space at a workplace shall be calculated such that workers can perform their official duties with sufficient freedom of movement. If this is impossible due to the special conditions at the workplace, sufficient freedom of movement shall be ensured for the worker in the vicinity of his or her workplace.

(3) The location of the chair, work desk or work surface shall ensure that the posture of the worker is ergonomically correct.

(4) The construction and other characteristics of a work chair shall correspond to the nature of the work. In general, the height of the chair shall be adjustable and the height and angle of the back shall be changeable.

 

§ 4. Alarm devices, indicators and controls

(1) Information communicated by alarm devices and indicators shall be unambiguous and the location thereof shall be such as to allow quick and correct orientation.

(2) Controls shall be so arranged as to be convenient for workers, their design (layout, dimensions, resistance to operation, and travel) shall be acceptable to the users and their functions shall be easily recognisable.

 

Chapter 3

Requirements for Working Environment

 

§ 5. Buildings and workrooms

(1) Buildings and workrooms shall comply with the intended purpose of use thereof and be of the requisite structure and strength.

(2) The height and area of workrooms shall be sufficient for workers to perform their work without risk to their safety or health. There shall be at least 10 m3 of air space in a workroom per worker (when calculating air space, up to 3.5 m of the height of the room shall be taken into account).

(3) The building and finishing materials used in workrooms shall not present a health risk and shall be easy to clean.

 

§ 6. Doors and gates

(1) The position, number and dimensions of doors and gates, and the materials used in their construction, shall be determined by the purpose of their use.

(2) Transparent doors shall be appropriately marked at a conspicuous level.

(3) Swing doors and gates shall be transparent or have see-through panels.

(4) The surfaces of doors and gates shall be protected against breakage and they shall function in such a way that there is no risk of accident to workers.

(5) Sliding doors shall be fitted with a safety device to prevent them from being derailed and doors and gates opening upwards shall be fitted with a mechanism to secure them against falling back.

(6) Doors for pedestrians shall be provided in the immediate vicinity of any gates intended essentially for vehicle traffic, unless it is safe for pedestrians to pass through.

(7) Unless power-operated gates open automatically in the event of a power failure, it shall also be possible to open them manually.

 

§ 7. Traffic routes and danger areas

(1) Traffic routes, including stairs, fixed ladders and loading bays and ramps, shall be dimensioned and located to ensure easy, safe and appropriate access for pedestrians or vehicles in such a way as not to endanger workers employed in the vicinity of these traffic routes.

(2) If means of transport are used on traffic routes, a sufficient safety clearance shall be provided for pedestrians.

(3) Sufficient clearance shall be allowed between vehicle traffic routes and doors, gates, passages and staircases for pedestrians.

(4) Traffic routes shall be appropriately marked at a conspicuous level.

(5) If workplaces contain danger areas in which there is a risk of an accident or a risk to health, the places shall be marked and appropriate measures shall be taken to protect the persons working there. Appropriate measures shall be taken to prevent unauthorised workers from entering those areas.

 

§ 8. Loading bays, ramps and escalators

(1) Loading bays and ramps shall be safe.

(2) Loading bays and ramps shall be suitable for the dimensions of the loads to be transported. Loading bays shall have at least one exit point.

(3) Escalators shall function safely. They shall be equipped with any necessary safety devices and fitted with easily identifiable and accessible emergency shut-down devices.

 

§ 9. Windows, walls, ceilings and floors of rooms

(1) It shall be possible to open, close and adjust windows in a safe manner. When open, windows shall not be positioned so as to constitute a hazard to workers. Windows exposed to the sun shall have coverings which allow excessive effects of sunlight to be avoided.

(2) Windows and skylights shall be designed so as to allow them to be cleaned without risk to the workers carrying out this work or to other workers.

(3) Transparent or translucent walls shall be made of safety material or protected against breakage and shall be clearly indicated.

(4) Floors shall not be slippery, they shall have no dangerous bumps, holes or slopes and they shall be fixed and stable.

(5) Floors, walls and ceilings shall be adequately insulated, bearing in mind the nature of the work of the enterprise.

(6) Floors, walls and ceilings shall be made of material which can be cleaned.

(7) Access to roofs made of materials of insufficient strength shall not be permitted unless equipment is provided to ensure that the work can be carried out in a safe manner.

 

§ 10. Ventilation

(1) It shall be seen to that there is sufficient fresh air in workplaces. The required level of fresh air shall be determined having regard to the number of workers in the workroom, the physical demands placed on the workers, the size of the workroom, the amount and the specifics of the equipment used, and the nature of the technological process.

(2) Workrooms and workplaces shall be equipped with an exhaust ventilation system if any dangerous substances or dust likely to give rise to immediate danger to the health of workers may be emitted during the work process. The concentration of dangerous substances in the working environment shall not exceed the established standards.

(3) Ventilation installations shall not substantially increase the level of noise in the working environment. The ventilation installations used shall be maintained in working order and shall operate in such a way that workers are not exposed to draughts. It shall be possible to regulate the ventilation system.

(4) Any breakdown in the ventilation system shall be indicated by a control system where this is necessary for workers' health.

 

§ 11. Room temperature

The temperature in a workroom shall be appropriate for the performance of official duties. When determining a suitable temperature, the employer shall be guided by the standards established by legislation. Air humidity, air velocity, thermal radiation, the physical demands placed on workers and the specific characteristics of the clothing and personal protective equipment shall be taken into account.

 

§ 12. Lighting

(1) The territory of workplaces and the corridors, stairwells, workrooms, rest rooms and/or accommodation areas and other rooms shall be adequately lit. The location of the light sources shall not endanger the workers.

(2) The lighting in workplaces shall meet the standards and, if necessary, the lighting for a worker shall be increased due to his or her age or for health reasons. Workrooms shall be equipped with artificial general lighting and, if necessary, localised lighting.

(3) Natural daylight shall be preferred when lighting is planned.

(4) Lighting shall be correctly directed and it shall not create shadows or dazzle directly or when reflected. Flickering light from a light source shall be avoided, as shall large differences in brightness when workers move from one room into another or change tasks.

(5) The lighting shall ensure that the safety signs and emergency shut-down devices are clearly visible.

 

§ 13. Noise and vibration

(1) The level of noise of the working environment shall be such as to avoid any harmful effects on the workers. The frequency spectrum of impulse noise and noise and the possible effect of noise coming from the outdoor environment shall be taken into account.

(2) When placing equipment which generates noise in a workroom, the acoustic characteristics of the room shall be taken into account and noise reflection shall be avoided.

(3) In the case of work which requires concentration, thinking, decision-making or communication, noise shall not interfere with the performance of official duties. Noise shall not interfere with the clarity of audio signals.

(4) Vibration at a workplace or of work equipment shall not cause any physical damage or functional disorders to workers.

 

§ 14. Rest rooms and/or accommodation areas

(1) Appropriate changing rooms (separate for men and women) shall be provided for workers if they have to wear special work clothes. Changing rooms shall be of sufficient capacity and be provided with seating and lockers, and lockers for work clothes shall be separate from those for ordinary clothes.

(2) Where the working conditions so require, the employer shall provide workers with washing facilities. The washing facilities shall be located in the close vicinity of the changing rooms, be sufficiently large and equipped with hot and cold running water. Showers shall be provided for workers if the work is very dusty or dirty, involves the use of dangerous chemicals or materials containing such substances, is physically strenuous or is performed at high temperatures. If showers are not required, there shall be a sufficient number of washbasins. Provision shall be made for separate washing facilities for men and women.

(3) In general, separate lavatories shall be provided for men and women. Lavatories shall be located in the vicinity of workstations, changing rooms and rooms housing showers or washbasins. It shall be possible for workers to wash and dry their hands in the lavatories.

(4) If the work is noisy or physically demanding or constantly involves being in a forced position, workers shall be provided with rest rooms. Rest rooms shall be large enough and equipped with tables and seats with backs. Smoking is not allowed in rest rooms.

(5) The employer shall ensure that the rest rooms and/or accommodation areas are kept clean and are cleaned at least once a day.

(6) The temperature in rest rooms and/or accommodation areas shall be adequate for workers, i.e. at least +18 °C.

(7) Rooms for warming up and drying chambers for clothes shall be provided for workers at outdoor workplaces.

 

§ 15. Drinking water

The employer shall provide workers with drinking water which meets the standards established for drinking water and with disposable or washable drinking dishes.

 

§ 16. First aid equipment

(1) First aid equipment shall be accessible to all workers.

(2) In order for first aid to be provided to workers in the event of an accident or illness, workplaces shall be equipped with an easily accessible and clearly marked first aid kit (or kits) including a sufficient amount of bandages and other necessary items. The contents of first aid kits shall be checked at least once a month.

(3) The number of workers in an enterprise who have received training as first aid providers, the number of first aid kits and the need for and number of other first aid equipment, such as safety showers, eyewash equipment or stretchers, depends primarily on the nature of the activities of the enterprise, its structure, the number of workers and the working conditions.

(4) Provision shall be made at a workplace for a room where first aid can be provided and to where a victim, if necessary, can be removed until the arrival of medical care. This room shall be accessible with a stretcher.

(5) Production rooms where workers use dangerous chemicals shall be equipped with eyewash equipment.

 

§ 17. Outdoor workplaces

(1) Work in outdoor workplaces shall be organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner.

(2) Such workstations shall as far as possible be organised so that workers cannot slip or fall, are protected against falling objects, are not exposed to harmful noise levels nor to harmful external influences such as gases, vapours or dust, and are protected against inclement weather conditions.

(3) Outdoor workplaces and traffic routes shall be equipped with artificial lighting if daylight is not adequate.

 

§ 18. Emergency routes and exits

(1) In the event of danger, it shall be possible for workers to evacuate all workstations quickly and as safely as possible.

(2) Emergency routes and exits shall meet the requirements established therefor and shall remain clear and lead as directly as possible to a safe area.

(3) Emergency routes and exits shall be indicated by escape signs and provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity.

 

§ 19. Fire-fighting equipment

(1) Depending on the dimensions and use of the buildings, the equipment they contain, the physical and chemical characteristics of the materials present and the number of workers, workrooms shall be equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment and, as necessary, fire detectors and alarm systems in accordance with the requirements established by legislation.

(2) Non-automatic fire-fighting equipment shall be in a visible and easily accessible place. The location of the equipment shall be indicated by the corresponding fire safety signs.

(3) Fire-fighting equipment shall kept in working order and shall be regularly maintained and checked.

 

§ 20. Electrical equipment

(1) Electrical installations and electrical equipment used at a workplace shall meet the requirements established by legislation.

(2) Workers shall be adequately protected against the risk of electric shock caused by direct or indirect contact.

 

§ 21. Implementing Provisions

Employers shall bring workplaces in use into conformity with these Requirements not later than within three years as of the entry into force of this Regulation.

 

1 Directive 89/654/EEC (OJ L 393, 30/12/1989, p 1) of the Council of the European Communities.

 

 

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