What was the subject of the meeting of the Labor Protection Council on August 25, 2020?
The Labor Protection Council, meeting on August 25, 2020, at a remote meeting chaired by MP Janusz Śniadek, adopted the report of Chief Labor Inspector Wiesław Łyszczek on the activities of the National Labor Inspectorate in 2019. In the position adopted on this matter, she positively assessed the inspection, supervisory and preventive activities of the inspection.
It also appreciated the commitment and determination of labor inspectors in enforcing labor law provisions and striving to improve the standards and level of safety, health protection and hygiene at work. As emphasized, these activities bring tangible results every year, among which the elimination of direct threats to life and health of employees is undoubtedly the most important.
The Council considered it justified to consider the possibility of changes to the law, which would enable the inspectors to conduct inspections more efficiently and effectively and eliminate bureaucratic barriers hindering their activities. In particular, it is about considering by the legislator the right to grant labor inspectors the right to issue decisions regarding the determination of the existence of an employment relationship and to enable inspectors to commence inspections on the basis of presenting a service identity card. Such solutions, as indicated in the statement, could increase the effectiveness of the conducted controls.
It was also considered advisable to conduct periodic inspections of the use of appropriate personal protective equipment and to intensify training and educational activities aimed at making employees and employers aware of the risk in industries where chemical substances and mixtures as well as technological processes with carcinogenic and mutagenic effects are used. In addition, the Labor Protection Council recommended that various occupational groups, of all ages, be provided with OHS training, with particular emphasis on workers in the construction and processing industries.
During the meeting, the issues of work safety at construction sites, including the operation of technical devices, were also discussed. The National Labor Inspectorate presented its inspection experience in this area – next to the Technical Inspection Office.
As emphasized by Chief Labor Inspector Wiesław Łyszczek, inspections carried out by labor inspectors show that machines and devices working on Polish construction sites are in an increasingly better technical condition, but their operation still violates applicable legal regulations – for example, scaffoldings are not commissioned. The main threats related to the operation of technical devices on construction sites are not always efficiency or poor technical condition, but most often operation and work carried out without the supervision of responsible persons and poor work organization.
Detailed information on the effects of inspections of construction works carried out by labor inspectors last year, as well as an analysis of accidents at work on construction sites investigated by PIP in recent years, in which machinery and technical devices played an important role, was presented by the Director of the Supervision and Control Department of the Chief Labor Inspectorate Jakub Chojnicki. It shows that there is a clear downward trend in the number of reported accidents at work in the construction industry. Nevertheless, accidents at construction sites still result in the most serious injuries.
The meeting was also attended by: Deputy Chief Labor Inspector Bogdan Drzastwa, Director of the Legal Department of the Chief Labor Inspectorate Wojciech Gonciarz and Deputy Director of the Human Resources and Training Department of the Chief Labor Inspectorate Iwona Hadacz.