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2009 Amendments to the labor code in scope of occupational health and safety

On 18 th of January 2009 amendments to the Labor Code in scope of occupational health and safety shall come into force. These new regulations shall increase safety at work; however, they do not exactly stipulate which of the employers are obliged to follow new amendment. Thus, each of the employers, regardless of the number of employees shall be obliged to have qualified in the field of fire protection employee.

Article 209 added by the amendments, stipulates that the employer is obliged to:

  1. provide necessary equipment for first aid in emergencies, in cases of fire and evacuation of employees,
  2. appoint employees to:
    a) administer first aid,
    b) perform activities in the scope of fire safety according to regulations about fire protection,
  3. ensure proper communication with specialized external services in particular in scope of first aid, medical rescue and fire protection.

Above-mentioned activities should be adjusted to the kind and scope of business, number of employees and the degree of danger. Regulations, however, do not stipulate the size of a company, thus, each employer needs to apply them. According to article 3 of Labor code, an employer constitutes each organizational unit, even without legal status, and also natural person that gives employment. Person responsible for fire safety can not be a specialist from the outside of a company – mandatary, as the regulation states clearly – employer appoints an employee (employees), i.e. persons that maintain with the employer the work relationship. The number of appointed employees, their training and equipment should depend upon the kind and level of the danger in a given company. This regulation also raises many practical doubts – employers shall have major problems with its interpretation and evaluation if the given danger justifies the number of employees appointed to the task.

Trainings of employees are conducted by the General School of Fire Protection Service, other Public Fire Protection Schools or training centers in voivodship offices of National Fire Brigade. Training costs of one person is approximately one thousand zlotys. It is possible that there shall not be enough number of specialized employees.

Information for employees

The regulation emphasizes the information issues. Employer is obliged to inform employees (including those who are out in the field) about:

  1. dangers for health and life present in the workplace, on each work position and about principles to follow in the event of failure and other life-threatening situations,
  2. protective and preventive actions undertaken in order to eliminate or limit these dangers,
  3. employees appointed to :
    • administer first aid,
    • implement activities in the scope of fire protection and employees’ evacuation (name and surname of that person, work place, company telephone number or others electronical means of communication).
Kancelaria Prawna 90-060 Łódź, ul. Nawrot 4/1, tel./fax +48 /42/ 630 58 41, tel. +48 /42/ 632 51 44, kancelaria@b2blegal.pl
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