New Rules for Providing Employees with Special Clothing and Footwear and Other Personal Protection Gear.

08.10.2009

Legal Update No. 80.

Goltsblat BLP advises that Order No. 290n of the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation dated 1 June 2009 “On Approving Cross-Sectoral Rules for Providing Employees with Special Clothing and Footwear and Other Personal Protection Gear” came into effect on 6 October 2009 and the relevant Resolution No. 51 of 18 December 1998 of the Russian Ministry of Labour then ceased to operate.

The labour legislation sets out the employer’s obligation to provide free special clothing and footwear and other personal protection gear (the Protection Gear) for its employees working under unhealthy and (or) hazardous conditions and performing jobs at specific temperature regimes or involving soiling.

The new cross-sectoral rules establish mandatory requirements on the purchase, distribution, use, storage and care for the Protection Gear. These apply to all employers, no matter what their corporate form or ownership structure. It should be noted that, when concluding an employment contract, the employer is obligated to familiarise the employee with the cross-sectoral rules and standards for issue of Protection Gear depending on the employee’s occupation and position.

Protection Gear has been defined more precisely; in particular, Protection Gear means aids for personal use in preventing or reducing the impact of unhealthy and (or) hazardous industrial factors on employees and in protecting the employees against soiling. The Protection Gear should have a valid certificate or declaration of compliance and, in specified cases, a sanitary authority opinion or a state registration certificate.

The Protection Gear should be purchased by the employer at its own expense but might also be acquired for temporary use under a lease agreement. The relevant Protection Gear is issued to employees free of charge. As previously, the Protection Gear is furnished on the basis of assessment of the working conditions at the workplace. Protection Gear is issued to employees in compliance with approved standards. At the inter-company level, the employer might establish its own standards for issue of protection gear in order to protect employees at an above-standard level. Any type of Protection Gear envisaged by the standards may be replaced by a similar one.

If the employer fails to provide an employee with the Protection Gear, the latter may refuse to discharge his/her duties and, in this event, the employee will be exempt from any disciplinary sanctions.

The order also prescribes numerous other rules relating to Protection Gear.

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