Health and safety at work in Slovenia

In Slovenia, an employer must ensure a safe and healthy working environment according to the Health and Safety at Work Act (ZVZD-1) and other regulations.

 The health and safety of workers and other persons involved in a work process are provided by:

  • preventing, eliminating and managing hazards at work
  • providing information and training workers
  • organising work processes appropriately
  • providing the necessary and adequate material assets.

The employer must first identify all types of hazard which may occur at work. The employer must prepare a risk assessment for each position in which they identify hazards and determine and implement measures to eliminate them.

Measures may be technical or organisational.

  • An example of a technical measure: replacing noisy working equipment with less noisy equipment and reducing noise at its source.
  • An example of an organisational measure: preparing internal rules on access to hazardous areas and marking hazardous areas with safety signs.

 Measures differ not only in the risk assessment of the working environment, which is dependent on the type of activity, but also in the size of the company, with the exception of self-employed workers.

 

Number of employees/measures

Risk assessment with a safety statement 

Training for safety at work

Preventive medical examinations

Training for fire safety

Self-employed

Yes, but they may assess themselves

Not necessary

Not necessary

Not necessary

Company

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

If you are self-employed and assess that there are no risks in your working environment, you do not have to undergo either training in health and safety at work, fire safety, or medical examination. However, you must sign a statement that no risks exist in your working environment, which you may draw up yourself in a simple form. You should keep this statement and show it during any visit by a labour inspector.

Risk assessment and a safety statement

Risk assessment is the cornerstone of the European approach to preventing occupational accidents and ill health.

The procedure is used to assess workplace risks to the health and safety of workers. Risk assessment is a systematic overview of all aspects of work, dealing with the following issues:

  • what may cause injuries or damage
  • can the hazards be eliminated and, if not
  • which preventive or safety measures have been or should be implemented to control risks.

The purpose of a risk assessment is to enable the employer to take the measures necessary to ensure the health and safety of workers.

There are several methodologies for assesing risks.
A simple example suitable for most small and medium-sized companies is given below.

Step 1: Identifying hazards and those at risk

Step 2: Evaluating and prioritising risks
Evaluate risks (seriousness and probability of potential damage, etc.) and prioritise them.

Step 3: Deciding on preventive action
Define suitable measures to eliminate or control risks.

Step 4: Taking action
Develop a plan of priority preventive and safety measures, and commence its implementation.

Step 5: Monitoring and reviewing
Risk assessments must be regularly updated when:

  • existing preventive measures no longer suffice or are no longer adequate
  • the data on which the assessment was based has changed
  • there are ways to improve or supplement the assessment.

Who may carry out a risk assessment?

A risk assessment in a company is carried out by a safety officer in cooperation with an authorised occupational medicine practitioner.

A safety officer is an expert in the field of health and safety at work, and has passed a certification examination in health and safety at work. 

  • The employer may designate one or more safety officers from among his or her workers. The workers must be able to perform expert tasks in the field of health and safety at work. The conditions safety officers must meet depends on the type of activity, number of employees, and level of risk of accidents at work, occupational and work-related diseases.
  • The employer may take over managing and ensuring safety at work if he or she meets the requirements provided in the Health and Safety at Work Act.
  • The employer may entrust the execution of all or individual tasks to competent external professional services holding an authorisation to carry out expert tasks in the field of health and safety at work.

Safety statement

Once the health and safety risk assessment has been carried out, the employer must produce and adopt a written safety statement and risk assessment document, which, depending on the type and size of the activity, must contain:

  • a plan for the implementation of the prescribed requirements and measures
  • a plan and procedures for the implementation of measures in the event of imminent danger
  • the definition of duties and responsibilities of persons responsible in the company and of workers regarding ensuring health and safety at work.

In the safety statement and risk assessment document, agree the special medical requirements workers must meet to perform a certain type of work, a work process or to work in an individual manner based on an expert assessment of an occupational medicine practitioner.

Self-employed persons must also have a risk assessment. If the self-employed person establishes that there are risks of accident, occupational or work-related diseases, they must produce a written safety statement and risk assessment document, and define measures to ensure health and safety at work.

Training for safe and healthy work

The employer must ensure that all workers receive training for safe working practice.

When does a worker have to be trained for safe work?

Each worker must receive training for safe work in the event of:

  • concluding an employment relationship
  • being transferred to another job
  • the introduction of a new technology and new means of work
  • any modification of the work process which may affect the level of safety at work.

Are you self-employed?

You do not have to undergo safety and health at work training if you assess this is not necessary.

Preventive medical examination

Preventive medical examinations of workers establish workers' health and the ability to perform a certain type of work in  a particular working environment.

Preventive medical examinations are carried out by authorised occupational medical practitioners.

The employer must refer a worker to a preliminary medical examination:

  • prior to first employment
  • after suspending the performance of a specific type of work at a specific workplace for more than 12 months.

Types of preventive medical examinations:

  • preliminary medical examination
  • specific periodical preventive medical examination
  • other specific preventive medical examinations

The basis for determining the type, scope, content and time of an individual preventive medical examination is a risk assessment

If risk factors established in the risk assessment increase, the worker must be referred to a specific preventive medical examination which assesses the health risk of the worker and his or her fulfilment of special medical requirements for a certain type of work in the working environment.

In certain cases, the employer must refer a worker to other specific medical examinations.

Obligations of the employer

The employer must ensure health and safety at work in accordance with the safety statement and risk assessment document, in particular by:

  • Giving the implementation of safety tasks to a safety officer, and the implementation of health measures to an occupational medicine practitioner
  • informing workers of the introduction of new technologies or means of work, as well as of the risk of accidents at work, occupational and work-related diseases, and by issuing safe working practice instructions
  • training workers in safe and healthy working practices
  • providing workers with personal protective equipment and ensuring its use, if the means of work or the working environment are inadequate to ensure health and safety at work despite the safety measures being taken
  • undertaking periodic inspections of the harmfulness of the working environment and examining whether working conditions are appropriate
  • undertaking periodic examinations and testing of equipment to verify its compliance with health and safety at work regulations
  • providing for a safe working environment and the use of safe equipment.