The recently enacted Labour Inspection Law created the Safe Company Certification Program (the “Program”) to promote the operation of safe and hygienic workplaces.
By Julia Sandoval, GUFA Law
15 employers have since been certified as “Safe Companies” by the Office of Certification of Workplace Occupational Health and Safety (part of the Ministry of Labour). The Program encourages employers to implement occupational health and safety management systems, to be compliant with both national and international standards.
The Program encourages companies in all economic sectors to join voluntary adhesion schemes to help them comply with current regulations on health and safety at work. Certification guidelines are based on the local Rules on Preventive Measures of Work Accidents and Occupational Diseases. One of the advantages of being certified as a “Safe Company” is that the certified company will not be subject to periodic and/or occasional inspections by the Ministry of Labour on matters of occupational safety and health, whilst subscribed to the Program.
During the process of auditing and evaluating the companies participating in the Program, led by the Ministry of Labour at the request of the employer, both parties sign a non-disclosure agreement to guarantee that all the information accessed by the auditors is treated as confidential, and will not be not used against the employer in the future. The audits and evaluations have no risk of sanctions of any type. The Ministry simply issues recommendations and encourages the employer to fulfill them.
Certification is always a useful tool to add creditability and enhance a company’s image. Besides being a legal requirement and the employer’s duty, creating a safe work environment is critical in ensuring a company’s long-term success.
Considering that the Labour Inspection Law has significantly increased fines for non-compliance with health and safety laws, to as high as £10,000, getting certified as a “Safe Company” becomes a smart, precautionary option for employers.
© 2018 GUFA LAW
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