The Greek legislation on Health and Safety at Work (OHS) is fully harmonized with the corresponding Community legislation, through the integration of both the Framework Directive 89/391/ΕΟΚ and the specific Directives that derive from it. The core of the relevant legislative framework in Greece, which includes a multitude of individual pieces of legislation (especially in the form of P.D.) for general and specific occupational risks or workplaces, is the Code of Laws for Health & Safety at Work (KNYAE) which was ratified with the first article of Law - 3850/2010 (ΦΕΚ Α’ 84) and in which, among other things, the legal principle of the exclusive responsibility of the employer is formulated and describes the basic requirements of employers and employees, as well as the relevant institutions for the provision of protection and prevention services (safety engineer, occupational doctor, Workers' Health & Safety Committee, etc.)
It should be noted that the provisions of the above Code and in general the provisions on the health and safety of workers apply, unless otherwise specified (e.g. maritime work) to all businesses, holdings and operations in the private and public sectors and for all workers employed by an employer in any employment relationship, including trainees and apprentices (with the exception, however, of domestic staff).
According to the above provisions of the KNYAE, the employer is obliged to ensure the health and safety of employees in all aspects of the work and to take measures to ensure the health and safety of third parties (employer's responsibility principle), to use the the services of a safety engineer and (where provided) an occupational physician, to provide suitable personal protective equipment and, in any case, must have available a written assessment of the safety and health risks present at work, including those involving groups workers exposed to particular risks.
The control of the implementation of the legislation on safety & health at work is carried out by the competent Safety & Health at Work Inspections of SEPE.
- Taking every necessary measure to ensure employees and third parties attending the workplaces from any risk that may threaten their health or physical integrity.
- Implementation of every suggestion of technical and health labor inspectors and generally facilitating their work.
- Supervision of the correct implementation of occupational health and safety measures
- Collective measures to protect workers
- Informing employees of the occupational risk from their work.
- Encouraging the training of workers in matters of occupational health and safety.
- Informing employees about the legislation in force regarding health and safety at work and how it is applied.
- Preparation of a program of preventive action and improvement of working conditions.
- Keeping a special accident book in which, the causes and description of the accident are recorded.
Every worker has an obligation to apply the rules of health and safety and to take care according to his abilities, for his safety and health as well as for the safety and health of other persons affected by his acts or omissions while working in accordance with his training and appropriate instructions from his employer.
To achieve these objectives, employees must, in accordance with their training and appropriate instructions from their employer:
- To use properly machines, devices, tools, dangerous substances, transport and other means.
- To use the personal protective equipment provided to them correctly and after use to arrange it in its place.
- Not to disable, change or arbitrarily shift the safety mechanisms of machines, tools, devices, facilities and buildings and to use these safety mechanisms properly.
- To report immediately to the employer and/or to those who exercise the responsibilities of a safety engineer and an occupational doctor, all situations that can reasonably be considered to present an immediate and serious risk to safety and health, as well as any deficiency found in the protection systems.
- Assist the employer and those who exercise the responsibilities of a safety engineer and an occupational doctor, as long as necessary, so that it is possible to fulfill all the duties or requirements imposed by the competent labor inspectorate to protect the safety and health of employees at work .
Employees are required to attend the relevant seminars or other training programs on health and safety at work.