Safety experts have the task of advising employers, employees, safety representatives and staff bodies in the field of occupational safety and humane work design and of supporting employers in the fulfilment of their duties in these fields.
In the Health and Safety at Work Act, the tasks are set out in § 76:
Employers shall involve the safety experts and, if necessary, other appropriate experts:
- in work-physiological, work-psychological and other ergonomic as well as work-hygienic questions, in particular the design of workplaces and the workflow,
- in the procurement or modification of work equipment,
- when introducing or changing working procedures and when introducing working substances,
- in the identification and assessment of hazards,
- in the testing and selection of personal protective equipment,
- in determining measures to prevent hazards,
- in all matters of occupational safety, including accident prevention,
- in the organisation of fire protection and evacuation measures,
- in the organisation of instruction and in the preparation of operating instructions
- in the planning of workplaces and
- in administrative proceedings within the meaning of Section 8.
§ 77 of the Health and Safety at Work Act lists following activities:
- advising workers, safety representatives and staff bodies on matters of occupational safety and humane work design,
- advising and assisting the employer in matters under section § 76 (3),
- the inspection of workplaces, construction sites and external workplaces as well as participation in inspections by the Labour Inspectorate,
- the documentation of activities and the results of investigations as well as the preparation of reports and programmes in the field of occupational safety and work design
- the identification and investigation of the causes of occupational accidents and work-related diseases and the evaluation of these investigations and investigations,
- the coordination of the activities of several safety experts
- the activities within the framework of the health and safety committee and the central health and safety committee,
- reviewing and adapting the identification and assessment of hazards and the measures laid down, as required by the worker protection regulations, including adapting the safety and health documents; and
- continuing education up to a maximum of 15% of the annual prevention time set for them.
If you have any questions about employee protection, please contact one of the safety specialists..
Safety representatives (SR) are employees with special functions regarding safety and health protection. Appointment, tasks and participation are regulated in §§ 10 and 11 of the ASchG. Safety representatives must be appointed by the employer with the consent of the employee bodies. They provide information and advice in the event of deficiencies. In accordance with their function as employee representatives, their tasks are to advise and support employees and employee bodies. They are neither preventive specialists nor are they subordinate to them. Compliance with the provisions on worker protection remains the employer’s obligation. More detailed regulations on the minimum number, selection and qualification of safety representatives are set out in the Ordinance on Safety Representatives.
The safety representatives have the following duties in all matters of safety and health protection
- inform, advise and support the employees and the employee bodies,
- represent the interests of the employees vis-à-vis the employer, the competent authorities and other bodies (in consultation with the employee bodies),
- advise employers on the implementation of worker protection,
- to ensure that the appropriate facilities and precautions are in place and to inform employers of any deficiencies,
- to pay attention to the application of the required protective measures,
- to cooperate with the safety experts and occupational physicians.
A list of the safety officers at the PLUS can be found at here.
The Labour Inspectorate is the authority appointed to ensure the protection of workers.
Through its activities, the Labour Inspectorate shall help to ensure that the most effective possible protection of workers is achieved through appropriate measures.
To this end, the Labour Inspectorate shall, above all, monitor compliance with the legal provisions and official orders serving the protection of workers, insofar as they in particular concern
- the protection of life, health and morals, integrity and dignity,
- the employment of children and young people,
- the employment of female workers, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth,
- the employment of workers in need of special protection (disabled workers),
- the working time, rest breaks, rest period, rest from work, holiday records and
- work from home
The Labour Inspectorate is not only a control and supervisory body. It also has the legal mandate to encourage employers to fulfil their duties in the area of worker protection and to advise them if necessary. Click here to visit the website of the Labour Inspectorate.