Obligations and responsibilities

The employer is responsible for the safety and health of workers.

Every employer must elaborate and adopt a written safety statement specifying the methods and measures of providing occupational safety and health and revise it accordingly as each new danger or a change in the level of risk occurs.    

Safety statement is based on the identification of possible risks and hazards at workplaces and in the working environment as well as on the assessment of risks for the occurrence of injuries and health damage.

On the basis of the risk assessment the employer must adopt and implement the necessary measures of the safety and health of children, adolescents and young people.

Particular attention must be paid to:

  • the equipment and design of the workplace,
  • the nature, level and duration of exposure to physical, biological and chemical nuisances, psychological and other pressures,
  • the form, type and use of working equipment, machines, appliances and instruments (devices) they handle,
  • the planning of work processes and operations as well as the organisation of work,
  • the level of education, training and instruction of young people.  

The employer must inform the adolescents and young people of all possible risks and measures taken to ensure safety and health. The employer is also under obligation to inform the child's legal representatives of all possible risks and measures taken for the safety of the child. He or she must provide protective and preventive measures for the healthy and safe work of children and adolescents suitable to their age. Authorised physicians, expert staff and other professional services must be included in the process.

The employer must provide the young persons working in the workplaces defined by the risk assessment as presenting risk to their safety, physical or mental health or development with regular health surveillance as well as preliminary and periodic health checks. The specific health checks are performed within a period stated in the risk assessment which may not be longer than a year.

In particular, the employer must ensure safety and health at work by:

  • designating the tasks related to safety at work to an expert worker and the tasks related to health preservation to an authorised physician;     
  • adopting measures for the provision of fire safety;    
  • adopting measures for the provision of first aid and evacuation in case of danger;  
  • informing workers of the introduction of new technologies and working tools, as well as the related risks of injuries and health damage;
  • providing safe work training to workers;
  • providing the workers with means and equipment for personal safety at work and ensuring its use if the means of work and working environment are inadequate to ensure mandatory health and safety at work despite measures being taken,
  • providing periodic analyses of working environment and periodic checks and tests of working equipment;    
  • providing health checks to workers.

Basic principles the employer must follow include:

  • avoiding risks,
  • assessing risks which cannot be avoided,
  • managing the risks at their source,
  • adapting the work to a specific individual by an adequate design of the workplace and the working environment, the choice of working equipment and working and production methods,
  • providing measures for the preservation and strengthening of health,
  • adapting to the technical progress;
  • replacing dangerous with non-dangerous or less dangerous;
  • developing an integral safety policy comprising technology, the organisation of work, working conditions, human relations and working environment factors;
  • giving priority to collective security measures over individual ones;  
  • giving appropriate instructions and information to the workers.        

Employer's obligations to primary school children, secondary school pupils and young workers.

With respect to all workers (young workers of course included) you must follow the requirements stated in the legal acts, in particular:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (Official Gazette RS, Nos. 56/99 and 64/01) and regulations
Employment Relationships Act (Official Gazette RS, No. 42/02)   
Rules on protection of health at work of children, adolescents and young persons (Official Gazette RS, No. 82/2003)

Article 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Official Gazette RS, Nos. 56/1999 and 64/2001; ZVZD) determines that a worker is a person performing work for an employer on the basis of an employment contract or on any other legal basis. This means that a student performing work for an employer on the basis of a referral form issued by a student employment service is also deemed to be a worker as regards the provisions on occupational health and safety.

Furthermore, Article 15 of the above-mentioned Act stipulates that an employer is required to provide health checks for workers to the extent and in the manner provided for by the Rules concerning preventive medical examinations of workers (Official Gazette RS, No. 87/2002, hereinafter: the Rules). Regarding the extent, contents and time limits of each individual preventive health check, Article 3 of the Rules refers the employer to the risk assessment, with a particular emphasis on medical requirements determined by the employer on the basis of an expert evaluation by an authorised physician and the results of measurements of burdens, loads and nuisances in the working environment. The purpose of preventive health checks is to determine whether the health requirements for performing a particular work for the employer are being fulfilled.

Article 6 of the Rules determines the extent of a preventive health check as well as the types and extent of tests performed, namely:

  1. taking of the medical history,
  2. clinical examination with taking of basic biometrics,
  3. basic laboratory tests of blood and urine,
  4. radiography of thoracic organs in case of medical reasons
  5. a test of basic visual functions and a hearing test performed by means of whispering,  
  6. other specific tests and examinations necessary for the determination of health condition with respect to working capacity, bearing in mind the risk factors at work,
  7. a medical certificate containing an assessment of fulfilment of specific health requirements for a particular work within a working environment.     

Based on the above-mentioned provisions the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs (MDDSZ) believes that the tests and examinations defined in Items 1-5 are compulsory in respect of all workplaces, whereas the tests and examinations defined in Items 6 and 7 are to be performed in respect of those workplaces where it is evident from the risk assessment that a specific danger for the worker's health or an exposure to specific risks exist.  
Considering that the extent of tests and examinations defined in Items 1-5 is identical to the tests provided to the students within the programme of preventive health care of students, we believe that medical certificates acquired on the basis of health checks performed within the students' preventive health care programme satisfy the conditions in respect of the workplaces  in which workers are not threatened by any particular dangers or exposed to particular risks, provided that the tests were performed in the period not exceeding 5 years. 
However, in cases where it is evident from the risk assessment for a particular workplace that there is a danger of exposure to particular occupational risks, the employer employing a student worker has a duty to provide the student with the full extent of a health check determined in Article 6 of the Rules; the check must be performed by an authorised physician, specialist of occupational medicine, and within the time-limits determined in the safety statement for each individual workplace on the basis of an annex to the cited Rules. 

All of the above also applies to the secondary school pupils working by means of referral forms issued by student employment services. In addition to that we would like to emphasise that there are specific rules on the work of young people to be considered with respect to the work of secondary school pupils (Employment Relationships Act, Rules on protection of health at work of children, adolescents and young persons, Rules on the protection of workers from the risk related to exposure to carcinogens and mutagenic substances).

Occupational Health and Safety Act (Official Gazette RS, Nos. 56/99, 64/01)