Winter 2003-07 Stricter job health and safety requirements

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Number 50
Winter 2003

Stricter job health and safety requirements

Governor Sila M. Calderón recently signed into law House Bill No. 2883, known as the "Health and Employee Safety Law," paving the way for enhanced employee protection measures to prevent accidents and occupational hazards in the workplace.

The statute effectively amends the Puerto Rico Occupational Safety and Health Act, Act No. 16 of August 5, 1975, forcing public and private employers, among other things, to establish safety committees, eliminate dangerous working conditions and educate employees about workplace safety.

Most importantly, the measure aims to improve occupational safety education offerings through the creation of a Special Fund for the Promotion of Occupational Safety and Health, managed by the Treasury Department. The fund will be primarily sustained through fines levied on employers found to be in violation of the act's provisions.

The Health and Employee Safety Law also empowers the Labor Department to order the temporary closure of unsafe workplaces until corrective measures have been taken to guarantee employee safety.

© 2003 Goldman Antonetti