Legislation and Occupational Health and Safety Service
The right on healthy work is constitutional. Article 37 of the new Constitution of the Russian Federation says that every citizen has a right to work under conditions which meet demands of safety and occupational hygiene.
Constitutional rights are further developed by Labour Code which is a comprehensive legislative document and it includes occupational safety and health, work organization and other aspects related to this subject. Article 154 of this code prescribes obligatory preliminary and periodical medical examination and defines category of workers and type of industry which is under these conditions. Special attention is given to a working women (article 165). Just one example related to this article: pregnant working women gets 140 days paid vacation ( approx. 70 days before delivery and 70 days after). In case of delivery of two or more children vacation after delivery is longer (84 days). If delivery was with complications the post delivery vacation 86 and 119 days accordingly. Federal law on Obligatory social insurance from accidents and occupational diseases at work was approved in 1998. In accordance with this law employer should insure his employees and pay in full.
Special attention should be given to two recently approved laws : “Sanitary-epidemiological wellbeing of the population” (№ 52-ФЗ, approved on 30 March 1999 ) and “Basics of Occupational Safety and Health in Russian Federation” (№181-ФЗ, approved on 17 July 1999).
The law on Sanitary-epidemiological wellbeing of the population describes the major activities of the Federal service on supervision in the sphere of consumers right protection and wellbeing of human being, which includes occupational safety and health. This law also draws attention to potentially toxic chemicals and biologically active substances, which can be used after the state registration in the Federal Registry of potentially toxic and biological active substances (Article 14). Article 22 of this law deals with toxic wastes and article 25, 26 and 27 deal with occupational health prescribing to comply with hygienic standards, norms and rules. If hygienic or technical safety requirements are not met this law gives permission to Chief Sanitary Officer or Labour Inspector to stop production or other activity, or to punish responsible person financially or administrativly or to bring the matter to the court. The law “Basics of Occupational Safety and Health in Russian Federation” defines what kind of health and safety services should be provided for people at work. It requires that in the company with more than100 employees specialist with appropriate background and experience in Occupational Safety and Health should be in the staff. In company with less 100 employees employer himself makes decision to employ an appropriate specialist or to have an agreement with specialist or with company which provides Occupational Safety and Health service. In the companies with more than 10 employees committee or commission dealing with health and safety should be created. Thus the law on Sanitary-epidemiological wellbeing of the population relates mainly to health and another law mentioned above defines the basic requirements of occupational safety. According to these laws employers are responsible for occupational safety and health matters. Three partied approach is required by this law. Collective agreement is one the main instruments of Occupational Safety and Health practice.
Alone the same line the system of Occupational Safety Standards is being developed by All Russia Institute for Standardization. As an example GOST R 12.0.006-2002 “General demands for Occupational Safety and Health in the Organization” could be given. This standard was harmonized with international standard OHSAS 18001-99.
MHSD has its own mechanism and vertical structure for control of occupational safety and health legislation and standards, norms, rules and other regulations implementation into practice. MHSD with its territorial centres provides preventive and curative occupational health services. Department of Occupational Health at the Federal Territorial Centre is responsible for these service. This department has net of scientific institutions (centers) reported to it. This institutions make also research in Occupational health, develop hygienic standards, norms and rules. Inspection of the conditions of work, compliance with the above mentioned hygienic standards, norms and rules is carried out by the net of territorial Centers which has properly trained staff and equipped laboratories. They report to the occupational health department at the MHSD.
Moreover there is a Center of Profpathology (Occupational Pathology) in each territorial subject of the Russian Federation. These centers have mandate to establish diagnosis of occupational disease. Medical service for a big enterprise is provided by its own occupational physician or medical department which may have outpatient department and hospital. Medium size and small enterprises are covered by territorial medical centres (policlinic). Occupational physician of this department provides medical service to the group of such enterprises. Recently the concept on healthy company as a new approach, recommended by the World Health Organization has been considered for implementation into practice . According this concept the company itself should develop programme on health and safety and health education including healthy lifestyle. This concept foresees that the produced product should be safe for human being and for the environment .
In accordance with decree N12 workplace attestation (comprehensive assessment of potential workplace hazards) every five years is obligatory. On the bases of the results of workplaces attestation conditions of work are classified as optimal, allowable, dangerous, extreme. Results of attestation are used for the development of preventive measures and also used by insurance companies.
Preliminary and periodical medical examination is carried out following the requirements of the. Decree N90 which defines what type of specialists should be involved in this process. Depending on the health risk this decree defines periodicity of medical examination, what kind of specialists should be involved, what kind of laboratory investigation should be done. There is also a list of common contraindications and list of occupational diseases. The list of occupational diseases is open and diagnosis of occupational disease is established and registered if the relationship between clinical picture and conditions of work is proven. Diagnosis of occupational disease can be established only by specialized clinic or as it was mentioned above by center of occupational pathology. Diagnostic criteria of occupational diseases are described in great details in handbooks. The main objectives of occupational safety and health services is defined as improvement of working conditions, strengthening of workers health through the improvement of health protection and health promotion.
Enforcement of laws and regulations on Occupational Safety and Health is carried out by Labour Inspection and Territorial Centre of Federal Service on supervision in the sphere of consumers right protection and wellbeing of human being (ROSPOTREBNADZOR).