Rules for occupational safety and health requirements – Factsheet

The factsheet summarizes the basic necessary knowledge on occupational safety and health required for the safe performance at work for the employer and the employee.

Kulcsszavak: occupational safety, work safety, occupational health, work accident, occupational disease, excessive exposure, risk, hazard, workplace, personal protective equipment

Act XCIII of 1993 on Labour Safety contains the basic rules pertaining to health and safety at the workplace; detailed rules are set out in ministerial decrees and other laws, regulations and standards. In absence of the above, workplaces must be designed, implemented, commissioned and operated, and work equipment must be produced, operated, etc., as consistent with the current level of scientific and technological achievements.

 

Implementation of occupational safety and occupational health requirements shall be the duty and obligation of employers.

 

Employers may not provide pecuniary or other compensation to employees in lieu of meeting the requirements of occupational safety and health standards.

 

The employer’s main obligations

 

The employee’s main obligations

 

The employee’s rights

 

 

Reporting work accidents and occupational diseases

Injured person(s) and/or those who noticed accident must promptly report the accident to the person directly supervising the work. If, due to a fault for which he/she is responsible, an injured employee does not report the accident immediately to the person directly supervising the work, during the investigation conducted by the employer of the accident, the employee shall be required to prove that the accident took place during or in connection with, the performance of work.

In connection with each reported accident or accident that it learns of, the employer shall determine whether it considers the accident to be a work accident. If it does not consider it to be a work accident, the employer shall inform the injured party (or, in the case of a fatal accident, the relative) of this fact and the possibilities for remedy.

The employer shall immediately investigate work accidents resulting in incapacity, and the results of the investigation shall be recorded in a work accident report. The employer shall investigate, record, and report any work accidents leading to the incapacity of the employee for more than 3 working days to the occupational safety and health authority competent for the place where the accident occurred.

The investigation of work accidents qualifies as a specialised occupational safety activity, i.e. the employer shall involve an occupational safety expert to clarify the circumstances of the accident and to take measures to prevent the occurrence of similar accidents. The physician providing the basic occupational health service shall be informed of the start of the work accident investigation.

The employer shall immediately report any serious work accidents to the occupational safety and health authority competent for the place where the accident occurred. In the event of a serious work accident, the physician providing the basic occupational health service shall participate in the investigation along with the occupational safety expert.

Occupational diseases and cases of excessive exposure* shall be reported, investigated and recorded. In the case of an occupational disease, the above tasks shall be performed by the physician suspected the occupational disease; in the case of excessive exposure, the employer shall be responsible for the above tasks (occupational health and occupational safety expert activity). In the case of excessive exposure, the physician providing the basic occupational health service shall participate in the investigation. The results of the investigation of excessive exposure shall be recorded in an investigation report.

*excessive exposure: a concentration of certain chemical agents in the human body above threshold values, or a specific degree of loss of hearing that predicts the possibility of an occupational illness

Employees may apply to the occupational safety and health authority with territorial competence by completing the report specified by law, if they:

 

Complaints and whistleblowing

Reports pertaining to occupational health and safety may be filed by anyone, either verbally, in writing (by post or email) or in person, including anonymously, at the Budapest/county government office, as the occupational safety and health authority. There is no separate online interface for submitting such reports.

Under the Act on Complaints and Whistleblowing, reports shall be evaluated within 30 days of receipt by the body authorised to proceed, unless specified otherwise by law.

Upon completion of the investigation, the proceeding authority shall notify the complainant of the measures implemented or that no measures were taken, indicating the reasons therefor.

In the case of an occupational safety irregularity, the occupational safety and health authority shall apply the measures and penalties specified by law (e.g. disqualification from work, suspension of the activity, use or operation in question) against the employer or employee.

If the employer fails to comply with occupational safety and health requirements and thereby threatens the life, physical integrity or health of the employee, an occupational safety fine of between HUF 50 000 and HUF 10 000 000 shall be imposed.

An administrative penalty of up to HUF 500 000 may be imposed on the employee for any violations specified in the Labour Safety Act perpetrated in the course of organised work.

The time limit for the occupational safety and health authority’s inspection is 30 days.

The time limit for the occupational safety and health authority’s inspection is 45 days in the following cases:

The administrative time limit for the occupational safety and health authority’s own motion proceedings is 60 days.

Occupational safety forms for electronic reporting

Occupational safety report (responsible: employer)

Report on suspected occupational diseases (responsible: detecting physician)

Inspection documents for excessive exposure (responsible: employer)

The Budapest/county government office acting in its jurisdiction and its competence as occupational safety and health authority.

The Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary is responsible for occupational safety related to mining.

If you do not agree with the government office’s decision on the merits, you may appeal. You may apply for a remedy as part of an administrative action. The application initiating the proceedings has to be submitted to the government office that made the decision within 30 days of communication of that decision.

The minister responsible for employment policy (Minister for Innovation and Technology) shall act as the supervisory body in official cases led by the government office acting as the competent occupational safety body.

Information on risk assessment

The employer shall carry out a risk assessment and employ a risk management strategy and shall determine preventive measures before starting the activity in question and – unless relevant legislation specifies more stringent requirements – at least every 3 years thereafter. A preliminary risk assessment is required to determine a number of specific requirements for occupational safety and health, such as the selection of personal protective equipment, the methods used for activities involving dangerous substances/mixtures, and taking the necessary measures.

The risk assessment qualifies as an occupational health and safety expert activity, i.e. it requires the cooperation of an occupational safety expert and the occupational health service.

Although there is no required format for the risk assessment documents, they must contain at least the following:

The employer is required to retain the document for at least 5 years.

Employment or hiring of an occupational health and safety expert

In the interest of complying with the requirements for occupational safety and health requirements, the employer shall, in accordance with the level of the hazard and the number of employees, designate or employ employees at least for the duration and with the professional qualifications specified by law.

Occupational safety professional qualifications and occupational health professional qualifications are required for the performance of tasks qualifying as specialised occupational safety activities and for specialised occupational health activities, respectively. If there are no employees who meet the specified suitability requirements, the services of a third-party service provider may also be used.

The basic occupational health service shall be guaranteed for all employees. The basic occupational health service may be provided by way of a third-party service provider operated or contracted by the employer.

Special occupational safety and health knowledge pertaining to specific sectors

Publications in Hungarian containing occupational safety and health information for various specific sectors are available here.

Labour law and occupational safety rules applicable to young workers

The Act on the Labour Code and the other pieces of occupational safety and health-related legislation contain provisions pertaining to young employees.

For the purposes of labour law, young employees are employees who have not yet turned 18 years of age. The Labour Code specifies in detail the requirements pertaining to young employees: their employment conditions are more stringent than the general rules, for example in regard to working hours, rest periods and leave.

The Labour Code provisions applicable to young employees shall also be applied to the employment of young employees under 18 in any civil law relationship for the performance of work other than a standard employment contract (e.g. contracting or agency agreement).

For the purposes of labour law, young employees are employees who have not yet turned 18 years of age. The Labour Code specifies in detail the requirements pertaining to young employees, for example in regard to working hours, rest periods and leave.

Conditions for establishing an employment relationship: only persons who are at least 16 years of age may be in an employment relationship as an employee. Full-time students who are least 15 years old may also enter into employment during school holidays. Based on a notification made to the guardian authority at least 15 days prior to employment, persons under 16 years of age may be employed for cultural, artistic, sports and advertising activities as specified by the law.

Additional requirements required for the validity of the employment contract: the consent of the young employee’s legal representative is necessary for all legal acts resulting in the conclusion, amendment or termination of the employment contract, and for the undertaking of commitments. Accordingly, although a young employee who is at least 16 years of age may conclude an employment relationship without any restrictions, the concluded employment contract will be valid only if the young employee’s legal representative grants consent (e.g. in the form of the legal representative statement included in the employment contract). Young employees under the age of 14 (legally incapacitated) may not enter into employment contracts by themselves; their legal representatives are entitled to conclude employment contracts on their behalf (for cultural, artistic, sports and advertising activities).

Young employees may not to be ordered to work at the night and may not be ordered to work overtime. Work performed between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. qualifies as night work. Overtime is the time spent working outside of or in addition to scheduled work hours, and time on on-call duty.

Young employees may not be employed for more than 8 hours a day. If a young employee performs work at more than one employer at the same time, the 8-hour daily time limit applies to the total of all the time worked.

As regards young workers the maximum duration of working time banking is one week. If a working time bank scheme is used, the amount of work performed by the individual employees may vary from day to day, and it may occur that they are not scheduled to work every day (unequal work schedule). In this case, the total duration of work has to be tallied at the end of the working time bank scheme, which must equal the amount of time to be worked in the bank scheme, taking into account the fact that young employees may not work overtime. For example, in the case of 4 hour/day part-time employment, 5x4 hours could be scheduled in a working week with 5 working days (for a total of 20 hours) according to the general work schedule: the young employee could work 8 hours on Monday and Wednesday of the given week, 4 hours on Wednesday, and not be scheduled to work on Thursday and Friday, the weekend also obviously being a rest period.

Young employees have to be provided a break of at least 30 minutes in case of work exceeding 4.5 hours per day and of at least 45 minutes in case of work exceeding 6 hours per day. At least 12 hours of rest has to be provided between 2 working days.

In case of a working time bank scheme (unequal working hours), the young employee’s rest days may not be unequal, i.e. 2 rest days each week must be provided. Furthermore, the employer may provide rest periods instead of weekly rest days (if the rest period does not correspond to calendar days), the duration of which has to be at least 48 hours. Weekly rest periods may not be scheduled unequally, either.

The employer is responsible for the protection of young employees. Employers who employ young employees must provide them with suitable training, supervision and security measures.

They may not be allowed to perform tasks at the workplace independently until having participated in occupational safety training. The training must teach them the hazards typical of the given workplace and the steps to take in case of an emergency.

Students may be employed under working conditions with a risk of damage to health only for the period necessary for learning the profession. Young people may be employed in positions exposed to carcinogens only with the use of personal protective equipment and only for the duration necessary for practical training.

Under the Labour Safety Act and the Ministerial Decree concerning examinations for the purpose of aptitude tests, medical examination and personal hygiene (’the Decree’), young people are vulnerable employees to whom the Decree applies special rules and lists the loads to be prohibited due to potentially damaging the health of vulnerable groups.

Under the rules for occupational medical examinations, the employer shall specify the positions in which young people may not be employed.

Young people may not be employed in positions which involve:

The Decree also lists the working conditions under which young people may be employed after a risk assessment has been performed as part of an occupational medical examination. Risk assessment is necessary to determine the conditions of employment and preventive measures.

Before starting work, and regularly during the term of employment, the employer is required to provide medical examinations for young employees.

In connection with young employees, the Decree also specifies the frequency of periodic medical examinations. Employees under 18 have to undergo the periodic examination annually in order to ensure their health. A special medical examination may also be conducted to assess the employment of a young person.

Occupational safety and health rules pertaining to small and medium-sized enterprises

Occupational safety and health rules pertain to all forms of organised work regardless of organisational or ownership form and the size of the enterprise. The general and detailed rules of occupational safety apply to small and medium-sized enterprises in the same way as to large companies.

As regards the employment/hiring of a person with occupational safety professional qualifications, the law allows

to perform the employer tasks pertaining to the occupational safety and occupational health requirements, either itself (if the employer is a natural person) or by way of an appointed employee instead of designating (employing) a separate expert, if the employer or the designated person has the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary for fulfilling such tasks, in light of the employer’s activity.

Whichever solution the employer chooses (appointment, employment or personally performing the occupational safety tasks), it is responsible for using the services of a person with the relevant professional qualifications for performing occupational safety expert activities. This person may be the appointed (employed) expert or, if the conditions pertaining to professional qualifications are met, the natural person employer.

If a micro, small, or medium-sized enterprise or natural person employer subject to the Act on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and on Supporting their Development violates an occupational safety standard, for which the authority imposes an occupational safety fine, the fine will be multiplied by 0.8 to reduce its amount.

 

Information and advice

The occupational safety and health authority assists employers, employees, occupational safety representatives and interest representation bodies by offering information and advice.

Occupational safety and health advice involves giving information related to health and safety at the workplace only. Questions may be raised during customer service hours in person or by phone, letter or email.

The Budapest/county government office acting as the occupational safety and health authority with territorial competence or the Ministry for Innovation and Technology’s Department for Occupational Safety and Health provides occupational safety and health consultancy.

This factsheet was drawn up on 18 January 2021 in accordance with the relevant legislation. For more information, visit the professional management organisation of the occupational safety and health and labour authority at the address www.ommf.gov.hu.

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The authority’s website contains a list of the legislation relating to occupational safety and health, broken down according to topic.

Act XCIII of 1993 on Labour Safety

Act I of 2012 on the Labour Code

Act CLXV of 2013 on Complaints and Whistleblowing

Act CL of 2016 on the Code of General Administrative Procedure

Government Decree No 5/1993 of 26 December 1993 on the implementation of certain provisions of Act XCIII of 1993 on Labour Safety

Decree No 27/1996 of 28 August 1996 of the Minister of Welfare on occupational diseases and on reporting and examining cases of excessive exposure

Decree No 33/1998 of 24 June 1998 of the Minister of Welfare on examinations for the purpose of aptitude tests, medical examination and personal hygiene

Decree No 65/1999 of 22 December 1999 of the Minister of Health on the minimum health and safety requirement for the use of personal protective equipment by employees at the workplace

Joint Decree No 3/2002 of 8 February 2002 of the Minister of Social and Family Affairs and the Minister of Health on the minimum level of occupational safety and health requirements for workplaces

Decree No 10/2016 of 5 April 2016 of the Minister for the National Economy on the minimum health and safety requirements applicable to work equipment and their use

ITM MVFO