PUBLICATION OF THE LAW 2/2021 OF URGENT MEASURES OF PREVENTION, CONTAINMENT AND COORDINATION TO COVER THE HEALTH CRISIS CAUSED BY THE COVID-19
Chapter II of the Law contemplates the adoption of certain prevention measures in the work environment, such as the organization of workplaces or the organization of shifts to avoid overcrowding, as well as the maintenance of basic prevention and hygiene measures in commercial establishments, in social residential centers, in hotels and tourist lodgings or in hotel and catering activities, among others. Some of these measures for workplaces are, among others:
· Mandatory use of masks on public roads, in open-air spaces and in any enclosed space for public use or open to the public. Thus, it is clear that in workplaces where there is no external public access, masks are not mandatory.
· Need for ventilation in workplaces. Therefore, non-compliance with this requirement is no longer a breach only of RD 486/1997, but is now also a breach of this Law.
· The distance to be maintained is 1.5 meters between workers. It is stated that "When this is not possible, workers must be provided with protective equipment appropriate to the level of risk". This point clarifies the variations in the value of this distance that have been occurring throughout the pandemic.
· When a worker has any symptoms, he/she should call the corresponding health center or the prevention service to assess the case, and immediately, the worker will put on a mask and follow the recommendations indicated, until his/her medical situation is assessed by a health professional.
· Likewise, in a generic way, it indicates that companies must organize themselves to try to avoid crowds or locations that do not allow them to maintain the 1.5 meters. But it indicates that it will be done "according to the protocols established in each case", which implies the need to develop a contingency plan, as a document in which the specific measures are defined, as has been done so far.
ERGASIA SEGURETAT, S.L. had already been applying these measures, both in our workplace and as part of the preventive measures that have been indicated to our customers throughout the pandemic. The publication of this Law reinforces and unifies them, and shows us the need to remain attentive to any new developments that may arise in order to continue providing coverage to all our customers.Finally, it is important to point out that Chapter VII, Art. 31, also establishes the sanctioning regime. It explicitly states that non-compliance in workplaces will be sanctioned with a serious risk prevention infraction (i.e., from 2,000 to 40,000 euros). In addition, it is made explicit that the Labor Inspectors are empowered to inspect compliance with this Law (as opposed to the way it was done until now, which was only done by internal agreement between Health and Labor, and this according to the autonomous community).