Occupational Health and Safety Management Regulations (In force from: 01.01.2023)

Approved by Rector’s directive No 58 of 21 November 2022

In force from: 01.01.2023

The directive is issued based on clause 12) of § 11 of the Statutes.

1. General provisions

1.1 The Occupational Health and Safety Management Regulations (hereinafter referred to as “Regulations”) set out occupational health and safety management at Tallinn University of Technology (hereinafter referred to as “the university”).

1.2 Occupational health and safety management shall be governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (hereinafter referred to as “OHSA”), the legislation issued on the basis thereof and these Regulations.

1.3 The chief working environment specialist is the employer’s authorised representative in occupational health and safety management.

1.4 In occupational health and safety management the employees are represented by working environment representatives.

1.5 A working environment council is a body for cooperation between the employer and the employees’ representatives which resolves occupational health and safety issues at the university.

1.6 The chief working environment specialist establishes supplementary legislation and standard forms for documentation based on the Regulations.

2. Working environment representative

2.1 At least one working environment representative shall be elected from each structural unit of the university. A working environment representative shall be elected by open vote at the general meeting called by the head of the structural unit or by electronic voting.

2.2 The term of authority of a working environment representative shall be determined by the employees and if not specified separately, shall be four years. The head of a structural unit may propose the term of authority, but the final decision shall be made by the staff members.

2.3 Any staff member, other than a head of a structural unit who is the employer’s representative at the unit level, may run in the elections for a position of a working environment representative.

2.4 The staff members or the head of the structural unit can put forward candidates, but the final decision shall be made by the staff members.

2.5 Every staff member has one vote; a working environment representative shall be elected by simple majority of votes of the staff members who participated in voting. In the event of a tied vote, a repeat vote shall be held between the candidates who received the greatest number of votes.

2.6 An election of a working environment representative is deemed to have been held if at least 50 per cent of all the staff members of the structural unit participated in the elections.

2.7 If a working environment representative is not elected or the vote fails, it must also be recorded in the minutes.

2.8 The election results shall be recorded in the minutes of the election of the working environment representative of the structural unit, the standard format of which shall be established by the chief working environment specialist.

2.9 The rights and obligations of a working environment representative are laid down in subsections 17 (5) and (6) of the OHSA.

2.10 The chief working environment specialist shall organise occupational health and safety training and refresher training of a working environment representative.

2.11 The time allocated to a working environment representative for the performance of his/her duties shall be decided by the structural unit and shall be laid down in the work procedure rules or other rules of the structural unit.

2.12 A working environment representative shall be allowed the minimum of two hours a week in order for him/her to perform his/her duties.

3. Working environment council

3.1 A working environment council shall be established for solving occupational health and safety matters and it shall comprise an equal number of representatives designated by the employer and representatives elected by the employees.

3.2 The council shall comprise six members.

3.3 The employees’ representatives shall be elected at the general meeting of the employees or by electronic voting.

3.4 The term of authority of the employees’ representatives shall be decided at the general meeting of the employees or by electronic voting.

3.5 The employer’s representatives in the working environment council shall be appointed by the Rector.

3.6 The term of authority of the employer’s representatives shall be decided by the Rector.

3.7 A member of the working environment council shall be allowed one hour a week in order for him/her to perform his/her duties. If a member of the working environment council also acts as a working environment representative, the time for performance of the duties of both jobs is totalled.

3.8 The chief working environment specialist shall organise occupational health and safety training and refresher training of the members of the working environment council.

4. Organisation of internal control of the working environment

4.1 In the course of the internal control of the working environment, the occupational health and safety conditions in the structural unit shall be planned, organised and monitored.

4.2 Internal control shall be organised once every three years in structural units where employees are exposed to the following hazards: working with display screen equipment and manual handling of loads.

4.3 Internal control shall be organised once every two years in structural units where employees are exposed, in addition to the hazards referred to in clause 4.2, to the following hazards: noise, vibration, electromagnetic fields, artificial optical radiation; ionising radiation; hazardous chemicals and materials containing them, including carcinogens and mutagens; biological hazards of the hazard groups 2, 3 and 4.

4.4 Unscheduled internal control must be carried out if the working conditions in terms of occupational health and safety change to a significant extent.

4.5 The internal control of the working environment in a structural unit shall be organised by the head of the structural unit on the basis of the schedule for the internal control of the working environment approved by the chief working environment specialist.

4.6 The head of a structural unit shall conduct the internal control of the working environment by involving the working environment representative and the employees of the structural unit.

4.7 If necessary, the chief working environment specialist provides assistance in conducting internal controls.

4.8 The chief working environment specialist and the head of the structural unit shall agree on the scope of assistance and activities.

4.9 A report shall be prepared on the results of the internal control of the working environment, the standard format of which shall be established by the chief working environment specialist.

4.10 The report on the internal control of the working environment shall be submitted to the chief working environment specialist for approval not later than within 5 working days. If elimination of the deficiencies detected in the working environment is not within the competence of the head of the unit inspected during the internal control, the chief working environment specialist shall submit the internal control report to the person responsible for elimination of the deficiency no later than within 10 working days from approval of the report.

4.11 If, as a result of the internal control of the working environment, it becomes evident that more persons need to be involved in the elimination of the deficiency detected, the chief working environment specialist shall submit an internal control report also to the working environment council.

4.12 The chief working environment specialist shall review the organisation of internal control annually and analyse the results and, if necessary, adjust measures to the changed situation.

5. Organisation of risk assessment of the working environment

5.1 The risk assessment of the working environment shall be organised by the head of the structural unit in cooperation with the chief working environment specialist and the working environment representative.

5.2 In the course of the risk assessment of the working environment the working environment hazards shall be ascertained, their parameters shall be measured as necessary and the risks to the health and safety of an employee shall be assessed.

5.3 Based on the results. a risk assessment and an action plan shall be prepared, which shall set out the preventive measures for avoiding or reducing the health risks.

5.4 The head of the structural unit shall inform the employees about the results of the risk assessment and the action plan.

5.5 The chief working environment specialist and the head of a structural unit assess the need to update the risk assessment annually.

5.6 A new risk assessment of the working environment shall be organised and the action plan shall be updated if the working conditions have changed, the work equipment or technology has been changed or upgraded, new information has become evident concerning the effect of a hazard on human health, the risk level has changed as compared with the original level due to an accident or a dangerous situation or an occupational health doctor has established a work-related illness of an employee in the course of a medical examination.

6. Organisation of medical examination of employees

6.1 Medical examination shall be provided for employees, whose health may be affected by the risk factors of the working environment or by the nature of the work that may cause work-related illnesses. Medical examination is obligatory for employees.

6.2 Medical examination of employees shall be organised by the Human Resources Office.

6.3 The working environment representative checks on a regular basis that medical examination of the employees of his/her unit is carried out, explains the need for medical examination to the employees, if necessary, and cooperates with the Human Resources Office.

6.4 The costs of the medical examination of employees shall be covered from the funds allocated from the university’s budget and the examination shall be conducted during working hours.

6.5 Medical examination of employees shall be carried out at the intervals prescribed by the doctor or at least once every three years and, in case of an employee who is a minor, at least once a year.

6.6 The head of the structural unit shall be informed of the recommendations contained in the decision of the medical examination.

6.7 The working environment representative shall be informed of the period of validity of a medical examination.

6.8 If an occupational health doctor has indicated the need to change the type of work the person is carrying out or the working environment, it is mandatory for the head of the structural unit to comply with it.

7. Organisation of the provision of first aid

7.1 The chief working environment specialist shall organise training of first aid providers. The cost of the training and refresher training of first aid providers shall be covered from the funds allocated from the university’s budget and the training shall be carried out during working hours.

7.2 First aid training of employees shall be carried out on the proposal of a head of a structural unit.

7.3 When appointing first aid providers, it must be taken into account that there must be at least one first aid provider per 25 employees.

7.4 First aid providers must also be appointed for the parts of structural units that are located separately from others and may have less than 25 employees.

7.5 Employees who work alone for at least half of the working time must undergo first aid training.

7.6 Working alone means working in a separate workplace, working at times different from others.

7.7 The head of a structural unit shall establish the employees who perform such type of work and the chief working environment specialist shall organise first aid training for them.

7.8 A first aid provider shall perform the following duties:
7.8.1 in case of damage to health, provide first aid to employees and students;
7.8.2 call for an ambulance;
7.8.3 check on a regular basis the presence of first aid equipment and whether it corresponds to the needs of the structural unit;
7.8.4 make sure that the location of first aid equipment is marked and supplied with the name and contact details of the first aid providers.

7.9 The head of the structural unit shall ensure access by all employees and students to first aid equipment.

7.10 The costs of acquisition of first aid equipment shall be covered from the funds allocated from the budget of the structural unit.

8. Personal protective equipment

8.1 The head of a structural unit shall make sure that the employees and students are supplied with personal protective equipment, special work clothes, and cleaning and washing means if the nature of the work so requires.

8.2 The costs of acquisition of the protective equipment, including personal protective equipment, special work clothes and the relevant marking shall be covered from the funds allocated from the budget of the structural unit.

8.3 Personal protective equipment is issued when there is a hazard in the working environment, which cannot be avoided or reduced otherwise than by the use of personal protective equipment.

8.4 The head of a structural unit shall organise training on the use of personal protective equipment for the employees and students, which shall be recorded in a form that can be reproduced in writing.

8.5 The head of a structural unit shall issue personal protective equipment and record it in a form that can be reproduced in writing, incl. indicate the period of the use of the equipment.

8.6 The head of a structural unit shall request and check the use of personal protective equipment.

8.7 An employee who refuses to use personal protective equipment must not be allowed to work.

9. Organisation of instruction, training and refresher training on occupational health and safety

9.1 The chief working environment specialist shall:
9.1.1 upon commencement of an employment relationship, arrange an introductory tutorial on occupational health and safety, in the course of which the following is introduced to the employee:
9.1.1.1 the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
9.1.1.2 general electrical and fire safety requirements;
9.1.1.3 instructions for conduct in the case of risk of accident or occupational accident;
9.1.1.4 what to do in case of damage to health, incl. first aid instructions;
9.1.1.5 instructions to prevent contamination of the environment;
9.1.1.6 the employee’s rights and obligations;
9.1.1.7 ergonomically correct working positions and techniques upon working at a computer screen;
9.1.1.8 the contact data of the working environment representative, the first aid provider and the Labour Inspectorate.
9.1.1.9  The chief working environment specialist makes recommendations to the heads of the structural units regarding the safety instructions for the work to be performed and the equipment to be used before the instructions are approved.

9.2 The fire safety officer shall:
9.2.1 organise a fire safety and evacuation training at the beginning of the employment relationship, which shall include examination of the fire emergency plan of the workplace.

9.3 A head of a structural unit shall:
9.3.1 arrange an employee’s instruction on occupational health and safety at the workplace, in the course of which the following shall be introduced to the employee:
9.3.1.1 ergonomically correct working positions and techniques;
9.3.1.2 the safety instructions on the work to be completed or the equipment to be used prepared and approved by the head of the structural unit;
9.3.1.3 the hazards of the working environment and the use of the required personal protective equipment;
9.3.1.4 the work procedure rules for employees;
9.3.1.5 the fire safety and electrical safety requirements;
9.3.1.6 the location of the emergency phone, first aid equipment and fire-fighting equipment and the contact details of the first aid providers of the structural unit;
9.3.1.7 the safety signs used at the workplace and the locations of emergency exits and routes;
9.3.2 if necessary, organise training in the workplace for learning safe and correct working techniques, taking into account the distinctive nature and level of danger of the employee’s work.
9.3.3 arrange introduction of the guidelines and instructions on occupational health and safety to the students.

9.4 An employee’s introductory tutorial on occupational health and safety shall be repeated in the necessary extent if:
9.4.1 the employee has been absent from work for at least a year;
9.4.2 the employee has violated occupational safety requirements;
9.4.3 if the employer, Labour Inspectorate or the employee considers it necessary.

9.5 An employee’s instruction and training on occupational health and safety shall be repeated in a structural unit if:
9.5.1 the employee’s duties change or the employer gives to the disposal of the employee new work equipment or technology;
9.5.2 new instructions are approved in the structural unit or the occupational health and safety documents are updated;
9.5.3 the employee has violated occupational safety requirements;
9.5.4 the employee has been absent from work for at least a year;
9.5.5 if the employer, Labour Inspectorate or the employee considers it necessary.

9.6 The head of a structural unit shall record the date and content of a tutorial and training in writing or in a format that can be reproduced in writing.

9.7 An employee shall confirm in writing or in a format which can be reproduced in writing that he/she has received instruction and training.

9.8 An employee is allowed to work if the head of the structural unit is convinced that the employee knows the occupational health and safety requirements and can follow and apply them in practice.

9.9 9.9 The head of a structural unit shall organise the preparation of safety instructions related to the tasks of the structural unit.

9.9.1 All safety instructions shall be agreed with the chief working environment specialist prior to approval by the head of the structural unit.

10. Actions in case of accident or risk of accident

10.1 The chief working environment specialist shall:
10.1.1 temporarily stop work in a dangerous stage of work or prohibit the use of dangerous work equipment if there is a direct risk of harm to the life or health of an employee and if it is not possible to eliminate the risk in any other manner;
10.1.2 give instructions to employees to stop work and leave the danger area in the event of a serious or unavoidable risk of an accident;
10.1.3 register all occupational accidents and situations which may have resulted in an accident and notify employees thereof and implement measures in order to avoid recurrence of such situations;
10.1.4 if the occupational accident resulted in temporary incapacity for work, serious bodily injury or death, prepare in cooperation with the head of the structural unit and the working environment representative an investigation file and a written report to be submitted to the Labour Inspectorate not later than within 10 days from the date of the accident;
10.1.5 promptly report an occupational accident which resulted in visible serious bodily injury or death to the Labour Inspectorate and an accident which resulted in death also to the police;
10.1.6 prepare an accident report, should the investigation establish that it was not an occupational accident, and submit the report to the Labour Inspectorate and the injured party within three working days after completion of the investigation of the accident;
10.1.7 plan and implement, in cooperation with the working environment council, measures in order to avoid recurrence of such occupational accidents and emergency situations;
10.1.8 arrange additional medical examination of employees, if necessary;
10.1.9 give employees permission to return to their workplaces, when the risk of accident has been eliminated.

10.2 The Real Estate Office is required to:
10.2.1 prepare an action plan for the evacuation of people from the danger area and performance of rescue operations;
10.2.2 designate employees responsible for the evacuation of people from the danger area and performance of rescue operations, arrange training for them and notify the staff of such employees.

10.3 A head of a structural unit is required to:
10.3.1 promptly notify the chief working environment specialist of a risk of accident, health risk or occupational accident;
10.3.2 inform as soon as possible all employees who are or may be exposed to serious danger of the risk involved and of the steps to be taken;
10.3.3 participate in the investigation of the hazard condition in cooperation with the chief working environment specialist;
10.3.4 arrange the provision of first aid to the victim and call an ambulance, if necessary, or arrange transport of the victim to the nearest health care institution or home;
10.3.5 make sure that in case of a serious trauma or accident, the situation in the scene of the accident, where the incident took place, is preserved until the arrival of the investigators (unless it causes additional hazards).

11. Compensation of the cost of glasses or any other corrective visual aids

11.1 The employer compensates up to 75% (but not more than 100 euros) of the cost of glasses or any other corrective visual aids.

11.2 The cost of glasses or any other corrective visual aids is compensated to an employee once in a calendar year.

11.3 Compensation of the cost of glasses or any other corrective visual aids shall be organised by the Human Resources Office.

12. Implementing provision

12.1 I hereby repeal the Occupational Health and Safety Management Regulations (approved by Rector’s directive No 46 of 21.10.2021).

12.2 This directive shall enter into force on 1 January 2023.