Health & Safety Obligations of Employers in Croatia:

Employers are responsible for quality occupational safety management. The law mandates that risks to the health and safety of employees must be adequately controlled and that appropriate measures must be taken in order for the work process to take place without threats to the life and health of employees.

The occupational safety system that the employer is obliged to provide in accordance with the Safety at Work Act obliges the employer to ensure the following:

-to regulate the manner in which safety at work activities are organized and carried out - in accordance with the Safety at Work Act and the Ordinance on the performance of occupational safety activities.

-to create a risk assessment available to employees in the workplace.

-to draw up an evacuation and rescue plan which all employees will be familiar with, and to conduct practical evacuation and rescue exercises based on that plan at least once every two years.

-to implement the ban on taking addictive substances, that is, to ensure the protection of non-smokers and to prevent smoking, and to implement the ban on the abuse of alcoholic beverages and addictive substances with suitable measures.

-to ensure that only employees who have received written instructions for working in a safe manner and appropriate personal protective equipment have access to workplaces where jobs with special working conditions are performed.

-with regard to injuries at work, the employer should notify the body responsible for inspection immediately after the occurrence of a fatal injury. The same applies for an injury that occurred in the room where an employee was given emergency medical assistance and where the injured person was kept for treatment in a stationary health institution or a day hospital.

- if the employer employs 50 or more employees, it is mandatory to organize a meeting of the occupational safety committee at least once every six months. In the case of a fatal injury, the session of the occupational safety committee must be convened within two working days of the occurrence of such injury.

Failure to fulfill these seven obligations is directly punishable, and in addition to the fine paid by the company, there is always a fine for the accountable person of the company.In addition to these obligations, there are also the following obligations that are not directly punishable, but are extremely important:

-the employer should carry out testing of the work equipment periodically within the prescribed deadlines: this refers to the testing of work equipment, electrical installations, lightning protection systems, etc.

-testing of parameters of the working environment must also be carried out within the prescribed time limits. This involves measuring lighting, noise, microclimatic factors and the concentration of chemical hazards where they occur. This is usually performed once every 3 years.

-the employer must provide first aid in the prescribed manner - in addition to the appropriate equipment, he must ensure that in the area where two or more workers perform their duties, at least one person is trained to provide first aid for every 50 workers.

-the employer must provide adequate work instructions and safety signs in the workplace in areas where risks cannot be avoided or adequately reduced.

-regarding employee training, the employer must provide training for employees to work in a safe manner, training for the employer's authorized representative and training for the employee's representative.

-the employer should provide each employee with health care appropriate to the risks for heath and safety, in other words - appropriate medical examinations that are carried out in occupational medicine offices.

Failure to fulfill this second set of obligations does not result in a direct fine, but we could say they get a "yellow card", i.e. the employer receives a deadline until a certain obligation must be fulfilled, with the threat, this time, of a significantly larger fine.

Let's also mention that in the case of an inspection for omissions related to the examination of work equipment and the working environment, the sanctions for inspection include the sealing of the work premises and work equipment.

In the case of injuries at work, failure to fulfill all these obligations may result in the initiation of a criminal complaint, which is much more unpleasant for the employer than a one-time payment of a fine.



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