What are the penalties for violating OHS rules in connection with the coronavirus?
Violation of health and safety rules in connection with the coronavirus may be associated with a financial penalty for the entrepreneur and criminal liability. This applies to the recommendations of sanitary services and the government.
For non-compliance with the recommendations of sanitary services and the government regarding work safety in connection with the coronavirus, entrepreneurs face financial penalties, up to 30,000. pln. In certain cases, when their omissions may lead to the spread of the epidemic, they must also take into account criminal liability – up to eight years imprisonment.
Entrepreneurs must, inter alia, follow the decisions, recommendations and guidelines issued by the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate or the voivodeship sanitary inspectorate. Administrative bodies, primarily the voivode, but also sanitary services, may issue orders to entrepreneurs by way of an administrative decision in connection with counteracting COVID-19. Such instructions, as a rule, do not need to be justified and are immediately enforceable.
According to Art. 165 of the Penal Code, for bringing danger to the life or health of other people by causing the spread of an infectious disease may be punishable by imprisonment from six months to even eight years (unintentional offenses are punishable by up to three years). Entrepreneurs who do not comply with the restrictions resulting from the epidemic, which was introduced in Poland on March 14 this year, also face the risk of similar penalties. The regulation of the minister of health also imposed on companies far-reaching restrictions on running a business. Introduced, among others ban on catering (excluding take-away and delivery services), restrictions on trade and mass events, and ban on organizing cultural and sports events.
Financial and criminal sanctions are provided for the mere obstruction or frustration of the activities of the State Sanitary Inspection bodies. This is punishable by a penalty of 30 days in jail, restriction of liberty or a fine of up to 5,000. Pln.