Occupational health and safety (OSH) is a set of rules and regulations designed to ensure hygienic and safe working conditions. Occupational health and safety is both the protection of an employee's health and life and the provision of functional conditions at the workplace. Workplace health and safety issues are outlined in Section X of the Labour Code (from Articles 207 to 212 of the Labour Code). This section enshrines the employer's obligations relating to OSH and the employee's rights and obligations relating to OSH.
It is the employer's responsibility to protect the health and life of his employees and to provide them with good, safe working conditions. Its tasks also include, among others:
- Ensuring that health and safety regulations are complied with
- Respond to employees' health and safety needs
- Consideration of the health protection of pregnant women, adolescents or persons with disabilities
- Ensure that the recommendations of the social labour inspector are implemented
- Duty to inform workers of existing risks to health or life.
Health and safety courses are a very important and essential part of any job. It is the employer's responsibility to provide his employees with initial and periodic health and safety training. Employees who are not qualified and who are not familiar with health and safety standards may not be allowed to work in certain positions. It is also the employer's responsibility to strictly observe health and safety rules. Failure to observe them is punishable by a fine of between PLN 1,000 and PLN 3,000. If an accident were to occur on the premises of a workplace where the safety rules were violated, the injured employee may claim appropriate compensation.
Health and safety training shall be provided and borne by the employer. It should be conducted during the employee's working hours. In addition to occupational health and safety training for employees, there are several other courses in this field:
- Job training
- Courses on working at heights
- First aid training
- Training for employers
- Training for persons in charge of employees
Occupational health and safety training for employers and those in charge of employees
Both employers and those in charge of employees have a duty to know the regulations, health and safety rules at work. Presidents of corporations, directors in factories, heads of smaller companies and department heads have a duty to know (insofar as it relates to their duties) health and safety rules. This is essential to ensure a safe workplace. Health and safety courses for employers are just as compulsory as for employees In courses for employers and those in charge of employees, issues are covered:
- Obligations of the employer
- Rights and obligations of employees
- Responsibilities of persons who direct employees
- Work protection for young people and pregnant women
- Identification and assessment of risks
- Position instruction so that he or she can give it to his or her employees
- On the seriousness of compliance with health and safety regulations
Health and safety training should be completed within 6 months of starting work. The validity of periodic training for managerial positions is 5 years. An employer who participates in periodic safety and health training sets a good example by his attitude on how to shape safe working conditions.