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).