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El Salvador: significant changes in worker safety rules

Friday, June 29, 2012

Employers face higher standards in workplace-protection requirements, along with bigger fines for non-compliance


Businesses in El Salvador need to introduce and enforce effective rules to protect workers, following the entry into force last month of a new risk-prevention law.

Among other changes, an employer must develop a program to evaluate and reduce workplace risk, including a series of defined elements, which range from first aid and emergency planning, to stress-reduction and worker training.

To ensure appropriate management of a risk-reduction plan, a business must appoint a prevention comittee, half of whose members come from the workforce.

The new rules are extensive, dealing with specialized issues, such as noise levels for specific jobs, and even specified height for stair risers.

The Labor Ministry has oversight of the program, which includes significant fines for non-compliance – up to 22 monthly minimum salaries (about $6,300) in the case of a serious infraction.
The maximum fine under the old law was $57.

Employees who disregard safety codes also face disciplinary measures, including potential dismissal.

For more information, please contact Dr. Carlos Rodríguez at [email protected] or (503) 2209 1646