News - Slovakia

Slovakia - June 2012

Amendments to health and safety law

On 1 January 2012, the existing laws on public health and health and safety came into force. Under Slovak law each employer is obliged to provide a special occupational health service to all employees. The occupational health service provides professional consulting services in the area of occupational health protection through the performance of health supervision.

The occupational health service must in particular:

  • assist in the detection of dangers and evaluate the respective health risks;
  • evaluate working environment factors and monitor the status of working conditions; and
  • undertake preventive occupational health medical examinations.

Amendment to this legislation has resulted in changes in the employer's obligations. As of 1 January 2012, the employer is not obliged to ensure the occupational health service for employees who perform tasks classified as first or second category work (broadly, tasks with no or minimal health risks). Until 31 December 2011, employers were obliged to provide an occupational health service for all employees. Accordingly, this change also brings a decrease in financial costs for employers.

However, other employers’ obligations in the area of protection of occupational health are not affected by the above-mentioned change. In accordance with the Act No. 355/2007 Coll., it is the employer's obligation to evaluate the health risks at work, to perform risk assessments and, categorize the works in light of health risks. With regard to preventive occupational health medical examinations, these are obligatory for employees who perform tasks which are classified as third and the fourth category work ( broadly, "risk categories").

Resources

Act No. 470/2011 Coll. amending Act No. 124/2006 Coll. on Occupational Safety and Health Protection and Act No. 355/2007 Coll. on Protection, Support and Development of Public Health.

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Andrea Olšovská or Veronika Hrušovská at +421 232 333 232.