Following a spike in fatal work-related accidents in the past months, cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the law imposing tougher fines for violations of rules regarding occupational health and safety.
The Director of the Labour Inspection Department Anastasios Giannaki said the new legislation will make it easier for labour inspectors to ensure that employers comply with health and safety regulations. As he explained, an inspector who discovers a violation of workplace health and safety laws will have the right to impose a fine ranging from €500 to €5,000. The fines imposed on a single business should not exceed €20,000 within a period of two years. This procedure can take care of issues outside the court, even though current penalties are actually harsher (four years of imprisonment or a fine of €80,000).
The Department of Labour Inspection in addition to oral instructions, letters, and notices of improvement, also has the option of prohibiting the use of specific machines as a means to ensure the employers’ compliance.
The proposed bill was examined by the Technical Committee of the Labour Advisory Body, which included representatives of the Department of Labour Inspection, the employers’ organisations OEB and CCCI, and the unions SEK, PEO, DEOK and others.