Law of Ukraine

"On Ratification of the Occupational Health and Safety Convention N 155 of 1981 of the International Labor Organization"

Date of entry into force:
December 5, 2011

The Occupational Health and Safety Convention N 155 of 1981 of the International Labor Organization (hereinafter referred to as "Convention") was adopted on the 67th session of the General Conference of the International Labor Organization.

The Constitution of Ukraine (Article 85, paragraph 32) states that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine provides consent for Ukraine to be bound by international agreements. And, according to Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine "On International Agreements of Ukraine" the Convention is subject to ratification.

The Law ratifies the Convention.

The Convention applies to all branches of economic activity (Article 1 of the Convention).

According to Article 4 of the Convention, each member state shall, in the light of national conditions and practice, and in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers, formulate, implement and periodically review a coherent national policy on occupational safety, occupational health and the working environment. The aim of the policy shall be to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of work, by minimizing, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.

The above policy shall take account of the following main spheres of action in so far as they affect occupational safety and health and the working environment:
  • design, testing, choice, substitution, installation, arrangement, use and maintenance of the material elements of work (workplaces, working environment, tools, machinery and equipment, chemical, physical and biological substances and agents, work processes);
  • relationships between the material elements of work and the persons who carry out or supervise the work, and adaptation of machinery, equipment, working time, organization of work and work processes to the physical and mental capacities of the workers;
  • training, including necessary further training, qualifications and motivations of persons involved, in one capacity or another, in the achievement of adequate levels of safety and health;
  • communication and co-operation at the levels of the working group and the undertaking and at all other appropriate levels up to and including the national level;
  • the protection of workers and their representatives from disciplinary measures as a result of actions properly taken by them in conformity with the policy on occupational safety, occupational health and the working environment.

Each member state shall, by laws or regulations or any other method consistent with national conditions and practice and in consultation with the representative organizations of employers and workers concerned, take such steps as may be necessary to give effect to the policy on occupational safety, occupational health and the working environment (Article 8 of the Convention).

Article 9 of the Convention envisages that enforcement of laws and regulations concerning occupational safety and health and the working environment shall be secured by an adequate and appropriate system of inspection.

According to Article 11 of the Convention, to give effect to the policy on occupational safety, occupational health and the working environment, the competent authority or authorities shall ensure that the following functions are progressively carried out:
  • the determination, where the nature and degree of hazards so require, of conditions governing the design, construction and layout of undertakings, the commencement of their operations, major alterations affecting them and changes in their purposes, the safety of technical equipment used at work, as well as the application of procedures defined by the competent authorities;
  • the determination of work processes and of substances and agents the exposure to which is to be prohibited, limited or made subject to authorization or control by the competent authority or authorities; health hazards due to the simultaneous exposure to several substances or agents shall be taken into consideration;
  • the establishment and application of procedures for the notification of occupational accidents and diseases, by employers and, when appropriate, insurance institutions and others directly concerned, and the production of annual statistics on occupational accidents and diseases;
  • the holding of inquiries, where cases of occupational accidents, occupational diseases or any other injuries to health which arise in the course of or in connection with work appear to reflect situations which are serious;
  • the publication, annually, of information on measures taken in pursuance of the policy on occupational safety, occupational health and the working environment, and on occupational accidents, occupational diseases and other injuries to health which arise in the course of or in connection with work;
  • the introduction or extension of systems, taking into account national conditions and possibilities, to examine chemical, physical and biological agents in respect of the risk to the health of workers.

A worker who has removed himself from a work situation which he has reasonable justification to believe presents an imminent and serious danger to his life or health shall be protected from undue consequences in accordance with national conditions and practice (Article 13 of the Convention).

Article 16 of the Convention envisages that employers shall be required to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the workplaces, machinery, equipment and processes under their control are safe and without risk to health. Employers shall be required to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the chemical, physical and biological substances and agents under their control are without risk to health when the appropriate measures of protection are taken. Employers shall be required to provide, where necessary, adequate protective clothing and protective equipment to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, risk of accidents or of adverse effects on health.

Employers shall be required to provide, where necessary, for measures to deal with emergencies and accidents, including adequate first-aid arrangement (Article 18 of the Convention).

According to Article 19 of the Convention, there shall be arrangements at the level of the undertaking under which:
  • workers, in the course of performing their work, co-operate in the fulfilment by their employer of the obligations placed upon him;
  • representatives of workers in the undertaking co-operate with the employer in the field of occupational safety and health;
  • representatives of workers in an undertaking are given adequate information on measures taken by the employer to secure occupational safety and health and may consult their representative organizations about such information provided they do not disclose commercial secrets;
  • workers and their representatives in the undertaking are given appropriate training in occupational safety and health;
  • workers or their representatives and, as the case may be, their representative organizations in an undertaking, in accordance with national law and practice, are enabled to enquire into, and are consulted by the employer on, all aspects of occupational safety and health associated with their work; for this purpose technical advisers may, by mutual agreement, be brought in from outside the undertaking;
  • a worker reports forthwith to his immediate supervisor any situation which he has reasonable justification to believe presents an imminent and serious danger to his life or health; until the employer has taken remedial action, if necessary, the employer cannot require workers to return to a work situation where there is continuing imminent and serious danger to life or health.
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