Health and safety changes – new list of acceptable concentrations and intensities of harmful agents; forklift permits require verification

2018.08.30

As o  10 August 2018, personalized permits for the operation of power-driven forklifts issued by the employer will be replaced by certificates of qualification. In turn, on 21 August the new ordinance on acceptable concentrations and intensities of harmful agents came into force.

The new health and safety ordinance on forklifts means that employers are no longer entitled to issue personalized permits for the operation of power-driven forklifts. 
In order to operate such a vehicle, it will be necessary to have a certificate of qualification obtained on the basis of regulations on the manner of verification of qualifications required to operate and maintain technical devices, or a certificate of completion of an appropriate training conducted on the basis of a syllabus developed or approved by the Technical Inspection Office.

Employees who have obtained their permits from the employer by 10 August will have time to upgrade their qualifications. Permits issued by 31 December 2004 will remain valid until 31 December 2019; permits issued by 31 December 2014 will remain valid until 31 December 2020, and permits issued after 1 January 2015 will remain valid until 31 December 2021.  

We recommend that you verify the permits you have issued and ensure that your employees upgrade their qualifications sufficiently in advance.

As for the new list of acceptable concentrations of harmful agents in the working environment, TLV levels have been changed for some substances and new substances have been added. This is important, because the jobs where these levels are exceeded are subject to working time limitations (it cannot exceed 8 hours and overtime is not allowed with the exception of rescue operations). It may be the case that the change will result in additional jobs being subject to these restrictions.