Information and instruction – What is what?
What is the need for instruction? § 14 ASchG 1, 3
Employers are obliged to provide adequate health and safety training for workers. The training must be geared to the workplace and the employee’s area of responsibility. It must be adapted to the development of hazards and to the emergence of new hazards. The instruction must also cover the measures to be taken in the event of foreseeable operational disturbances.
What is the information for? § 14 ASchG 1, 3
Basic difference between instruction and information
The fundamental difference between instruction and information is that instruction refers to the specific workplace and the specific area of responsibility of individual employees (= “training”). Information, on the other hand, provides general knowledge about hazard prevention and refers to the entire workplace.
An example of instruction would be to teach a person knowledge or skills about a substance with the help of safety data sheets and other sources of information before it is used.
Information means, for example, communicating knowledge of escape routes by means of escape route plans of the respective workplace.
Excerpt from the Employee Protection Act – basic translation of the “ASchG”
§ 12. Information
(1) Employers shall be obliged to ensure that workers are adequately informed of the risks to safety and health and of the measures taken to prevent such risks. This information must enable workers to verify, through appropriate participation, that the necessary protective measures have been taken. This information must be provided during working hours.
(2) The information must be provided before the start of the activity. It must be repeated at regular intervals, in particular if this is necessary due to changing operational circumstances, further in the event of changes in the relevant employee protection regulations and in the event of new findings in the field of safety and health protection.
(3) Employers shall be obliged to inform without delay all workers who may be exposed to an immediate significant hazard of that hazard and of the protective measures taken or to be taken.
(4) The information must be provided in an understandable form. In the case of workers who are not sufficiently proficient in German, the information shall be given in their mother tongue or in another language which they understand. Employers shall ensure that workers have understood the information.
(5) If necessary, appropriate documents shall be made available to the employees for information purposes. Paragraph 4, second and third sentences, shall also apply to these documents. Operating instructions for work equipment as well as package leaflets, instructions for use and safety data sheets for working materials shall be made available to the workers concerned. If necessary, these documents shall be displayed at the workplace.
(6) The information of individual employees in accordance with Paras. 1, 2, 4 and 5 may be omitted if safety representatives have been appointed or staff bodies have been established, they have been informed accordingly and the information of these persons is sufficient for effective risk prevention. The content and purpose of the information as well as the existing hazards and operational circumstances shall be taken into account.
(7) If no safety representatives have been appointed and no employee bodies have been established, all employees shall be informed on all matters referred to in section 11(7) and the documents referred to shall be made available to them.
§ 14. Instruction
(1) Employers shall be obliged to provide adequate health and safety training for workers. The instruction must take place during working hours. The training must be documented. If necessary, suitable experts shall be called in for the instruction.
(2) Instruction must be given in any case
- before taking up the job,
- in the event of a transfer or change in the scope of duties,
- when introducing or modifying work equipment,
- when new working materials are introduced,
- when introducing or changing working procedures and
- after accidents or events that almost led to an accident, if this appears useful for the prevention of further accidents.
(3) The instruction must be geared to the workplace and the employee’s area of responsibility. It must be adapted to the development of the hazards and to the emergence of new hazards. The training shall also cover the measures to be taken in the event of foreseeable operational disturbances. If necessary, the instruction shall be repeated at regular intervals, in any case if this is stipulated as a measure for the prevention of hazards in accordance with section 4 subsection 3 or in an ordinance to this Federal Act.
(4) The instruction shall be adapted to the level of experience of the workers and shall be given in an understandable form. In the case of workers who do not have sufficient knowledge of German, the instruction shall be given in their mother tongue or in another language which they understand. Employers shall ensure that workers have understood the training.
(5) The instruction may also be given in writing. Where necessary, written operating instructions and other instructions shall be made available to workers. If necessary, these instructions shall be displayed at the workplace. Paragraph 4, second and third sentences, shall also apply to written instructions.
For more information on how to carry out the instruction at the PLUS, see https://im.sbg.ac.at/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=303890895