Czech Republic: Major changes regarding the procurement of occupational safety and health on building sites
On 1 May 2016, Act No. 88/2016 Coll. came into force, introducing among other things a change to the Act on the procurement of further conditions in the area of occupational safety and health (OSH). The amendment imposes more stringent obligations on what is known as Qualified Persons and on OSH coordinators, and as such affects in particular building companies, awarding authorities that tender engineering contracts, and real estate investors.
Above all, the qualification requirements have changed for individuals who seek certification of their professional qualification to act as OSH coordinator at building sites. These individuals must newly have a complete secondary education with A levels in a STEM subject or a college degree in a technical field, and professional practice in preparing or implementing construction projects. The Act in its amended form also contains a stricter negative definition of the OSH coordinator, who must not be a contractor (or employee of the contractor) nor otherwise be tasked with the professional management of the construction work. Also, the amendment stipulates new record-keeping duties concerning the contractual relationship between Qualified Persons and the OSH coordinator on the one hand and clients on the other, and other mandatory documentation (for instance, all contracts touching upon the sphere of activities of the QP/OSH coordinator must be documented in writing and in chronological order).
No less important is the fact that the OSH plan for building sites should newly be authored by the OSH coordinator himself or herself. The amendment specifies the mandatory contents of such OSH plans, which must be regularly updated and adjusted to changes (if any) as occur during the implementation of the construction project. The amendment also specifies in practical terms the relation between construction project stages on the one hand and the moment of appointment of OSH coordinator on the other. A construction site OSH coordinator must be appointed already at the time of preparation of the construction project, namely, from the moment in which work on the project planning documentation begins until the moment in which said documentation is handed over to the client. When it comes to the actual implementation of the construction project, the OSH coordinator must be appointed no later than as at the moment in which the construction site is being taken over by the first contractor, until acceptance of the completed structure by the client. The same individual may act as the OSH coordinator in both cases.
Source: Act No. 88/2016 Coll., on further OSH requirements in employment relationships and on procuring occupational safety and health in the case of activities or the provision of services outside of an employment relationship