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El Salvador: worker safety rules

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Salvadoran firms now have to meet a set of standards, to ensure the safety of employees.

The new rules, which apply to all types of businesses, has been in force since last year, following approval of the General Law for the Prevention of Workplace Risks, together with the relevant regulations.

Under the terms of the law, employers are required to develop a workplace safety program, including emergency measures, records of accidents, and first aid protocols, and to train personnel to implement the plan.

Among the issues to be addressed in the program, is the condition of the physical plant, including aisles, exits, evacuation routes, and safety signs, to ensure that people have adequate egress in case of an emergency.

There is no obligation to present a risk-management program to the government, however, an inspector from the Ministry of Labor has the right to review it at any time.

There are specific rules established in the case of potentially dangerous operations, such as those which use chemicals or electricity, or which involve high altitude or temperatures.

The law also provides for the accreditation by the Ministry of private entities, which are authorized to advise employers on the development and implementation of risk programs.

However, a requirement for occupational safety conditions is considered unsatisfactory, the responsibility falls on the employer, even if he or she received the advice of an accredited entity.

In the case of a breach, the law provides for penalties of up to 28 times the minimum monthly wage, or $6,278.

For more information, please contact Carlos Rodriguez at [email protected], or (503) 2209-1646