One of the many requirements of being an employer is to ensure the health and safety rights of your staff members and to take responsibility for providing an environment that is built around protecting employees from harm.
In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about implementing health and safety measures in Spain.
Legislation in Spain
Companies operating in Spain are required to comply with legislation set by The National Commission for Safety and Health at Work (Comisión Nacional de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo or CNSST).
A company in Spain is obliged to have the following measures in place:
- A general occupational risk-prevention plan
- Preventative activity planning, such as inspections and consultations with workforce representatives
- Implementation of measures to avoid occupational hazards
- Implementation of risk assessments for a workplace
- Provide medical check-ups and emergency plans for employees
- Make available information about organizational health and safety policies
- Provide training for employees on compliance with health and safety policies and mitigation of risks
Health and Safety Representatives
Once a company employs six or more people, it is necessary for there to be a health and safety representative. This is because workers have the right to be informed and consulted about health and safety issues.
The number of representatives required increases as a company’s size increases, with the maximum being eight representatives for employers of more than 4000 people.
The representatives are chosen by the workforce and are known as prevention delegates (delegados de prevención). Through them, the employees are entitled to participate in health and safety matters relating to their workplace.
Employee and Employer Health and Safety Committee
In workplaces of more than 50 employees, a joint employee/employer health and safety committee (Comité de Seguridad y Salud) should be established that will include an equal number of prevention delegates and employer representatives.
During meetings of the committee, trade union delegates (if there are more than 250 employees), along with any health and safety professionals employed by the company, should be in attendance.
Furthermore, an organization of this size is obligated to create a gender equality policy and will be required to undertake a pay audit. The purpose of this audit is to ensure transparency and equal remuneration among male and female employees, without either being subject to any direct or indirect discrimination.
Internal Departments vs. Outsourced Specialists for Health and Safety
Depending on the size of the company, some employers may choose to set up internal health and safety departments that include staff whose role is solely related to these matters.
Other companies may completely or partially outsource the responsibility to external specialist companies who will perform the safety risk prevention service (Servicio de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales or SPRL) on their behalf.
Additionally, should a company share an office or workspace with other organizations, they must coordinate the implementation of occupational risk prevention with the other companies on-site.
It should also be noted that for employees that work remotely for over 30% of their working hours, there is an obligation for the company to set out a written agreement regarding remote working.
Important Note: This does not apply to working from home as a result of Covid-19 measures.
Seeking Professional Guidance?
When you’re running a company in Spain, it’s sometimes hard to be sure you’re compliant with all rules and regulations.
If you need further assistance, contact us here and one of our specialist team of lawyers at Lawants will be happy to set up a consultation.