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Labor Code. MRPiPS: the government adopted a draft amendment to the Labor Code, increasing protection against harmful substances

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The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy announced that the government adopted a draft amendment to the Labor Code on Tuesday. It implements the European Union directive on the protection of workers against the effects of carcinogens or mutagens. The directive extends their list to include reprotoxic substances, i.e. substances harmful to, among others, fertility and sexual function.

During Tuesday's meeting, the government adopted a draft act by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy introducing changes to the Labor Code. The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy said in a statement that the aim of the change is “even more effective protection of the health of employees.”

Protection against hazardous substances

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The amendment to the Labor Code consists in amending Article 222 on protection “against carcinogenic and mutagenic substances”, which expands the list of substances and enables the issuance of a regulation of the Minister of Health on chemical substances, their mixtures, factors or technological processes with carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic effects in work environment.”

The ministry explained that this includes, among others: o toluene, styrene, ethoxyethanol, nitrobenzene, carbon monoxide, bisphenol A, phthalic acid esters, metals. “These substances occur primarily in the production and use of pesticides, the production and processing of plastics, in the rubber, pharmaceutical, metallurgical and cosmetics industries. Also in construction, in health care facilities, in hairdressing and beauty salons and car repair shops,” we read in the release. .

Reprotoxic substances may adversely affect sexual function and fertility in adult men and women, as well as the development of offspring. The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy pointed out that, as in the case of carcinogens or mutagens, they raise “particularly great concern because they may have serious and irreversible effects on the health of workers and their offspring.”

EU directive

The project implements the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of workers against the action of carcinogens or mutagens, amended in March 2022. The directive extends the list of harmful agents to include reprotoxic substances.

The Act is to enter into force 14 days after its announcement, while the implementing regulations issued on the basis of the current statutory authorization Art. 222 par. 3 of the Labor Code will remain in force for 30 days from the date of entry into force of the Act.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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