Amendment to public health act introduces new duties; employers to survey employee health.
The act on protection, support and development of public health was finally amended on 25 June 2014. This should ensure health surveillance for all employees, regardless of their arrangement into risk categories.
The amendment obliges employers to ensure an employee health risk evaluation once a year and in the case of every major change in work conditions which could influence health risks and risk categories of work. The process will be supervised by the occupational health service. An employer can choose whether to ensure an occupational health service through its own employees or through an external service provider. An employer that decides on its own occupational heath service has to assign a sufficient number of employees for the service. The act specifies the composition and qualification of the members of the occupational health service: It has to consist of qualified employees. In the case of employees from category 1 and 2 surveillance need not be by a medical professional.
The amendment also finally solves the problem of occupational diseases, including the possibility of a repeat evaluation of an already approved recognized disease. Since previously there was no unified approach in this field, the act constitutes a welcome regulation, providing legal safety for employers.
Apart from these major changes, the amendment obliges employers to keep and to submit to the authorities a lot of records within strict deadlines. For employers especially, this means increased costs and a greater administrative burden in the field of employee health protection. The amendment is scheduled to come into force on 1 August 2014.
Source: Act No. 355/2007 Coll., Act on Protection, Support and Development of Public Health
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