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The amendments to Act No. 355/2007 on the protection, support for and development of public health, which came into effect in December 2017, are designed to improve occupational health services.
The main changes concern workers’ entitlement to occupational health services. From now on, all workers are covered by these services. Previously, only workers performing functions coming under risk categories 3 (e.g. chemical laboratories and welding operations) and 4 (e.g. mines and nuclear power stations) were covered. Moreover, occupational health services can only be provided by healthcare professionals, and not by qualified occupational safety and health professionals, as was authorized previously.
Examinations of health risks should generally be performed on a one-off basis, and only when significant changes in working conditions are liable to have an impact on health risks in the workplace. The examinations are expected to be performed annually for employees in potentially hazardous workplaces coming under risk categories 3 and 4, and every 18 months for employees working in category 2 workplaces (such as offices).
Apart from improving occupational health services, the aim is also to reduce financial costs and administrative tasks for employers.