The Inspection confirms that psychosocial risks are also occupational hazards and warns companies of the obligation to assess them and plan measures to solve them in case of problems.
Companies have an obligation to assess the "psychosocial" risks of their employees: the possibility of suffering stress, anxiety or psychic discomfort in their work environment, and may be sanctioned by the Labour Inspection if they do not.
Psychosocial risks stem from deficiencies in the design, organization and management of work, as well as a poor social context of work, and can produce negative psychological, physical and social outcomes, such as work stress, exhaustion or depression.
The Occupational Risk Prevention Act provides that the employer is responsible for ensuring the physical and psychic integrity of the employee in the job assigned to him, or in each of the jobs. This is to ensure safety, ergonomics, hygiene and psychosociology.
The Inspection has admitted in a new finished Technical Criterion, that companies, in compliance with the Occupational Risk Prevention Act must also take into account the risks that disturb the mental health of employees,something that had not been obligatory until now.
In particular, it was the State Agency for Labour Inspection and Social Security, which depends on the Ministry, which is responsible for issuing on April 14 the Technical Criterion 104/2021 on actions of the Labour and Social Security Inspection on Psychosocial Risks, and which complements Technical Criterion 69/2009 on Harassment and Violence at Work.
The new criterion is motivated by the European Commission Communication of 10 January 2017 "Safer and healthier work for all: Modernisation of EU occupational health and safety legislation and policies". According to the criterion, it states that ""stress has harmful effects on both the health of workers and the organization of work and owes it approximately half of the days of work lost”…
Common risks in all companies
There are risks that may be present in all types of work without any exception, regardless of the size of the company, the sector of activity, type of position performed or hierarchical level of the same, the Inspection includes, hence that all companies have an obligation to evaluate them from now on. In general, the company will have to evaluate among all workers:
- if the worker suffers monotony in the development of his work,
- if you have to do "meaningless tasks"
- if you have an excessive workload, with time pressure and strict deadlines,
- if you have "unpleasant tasks you feel rejected for"
- if communications are poor or if the worker has insufficient support for problems or personal development.
- if the employee is undervalued at work or is insecure.
- if you feel isolation or
- if you have bad relationships with colleagues/customers
Once risk factors are detected in the company, the company has an obligation to assess its contingency and take measures to avoid or reduce them
This evaluation should compromise the management of the company and must cover all jobs, including positions filled by staff of contracted Temporary Labor Companies.
The Inspection may be submitted to any undertaking after receiving a complaint from an employee, on the occasion of a prevention campaign or on its own initiative in the context of its random actions - and request its psychosocial risk assessment. If the company has not done so, it may punish it with fines of up to EUR 40,985 in the most serious cases.
In order to apply one amount or another, account shall be taken of aspects such as the number of workers concerned, the danger of the company's actions, the damage caused, the general conduct followed by the employer, among other matters.