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They fight violations at work with fines – The second record was recorded

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Πολεμοyν τισ &pi ;αραβασεις στην εργασΙα με πρoστ&iota ;μα-ΚαταγρΑφηκε το δεΙτερο ρεκόρ

With heavy fines, the Department of Labor Inspection is trying to impose order in the workplaces, in order to prevent the occupational accidents that occur in Cyprus which, based on a report by the Department, have decreased compared to previous years, which seems to be due to a large degree and in the mass checks that are carried out. 

In data published by the Department for 2021, it appears that the fines increased steeply, at the same time that the fines reached the levels of 2015, which was a year with record fines with the total amount then amounting to 220,800 euros. However, in order to increase the fines, the audits carried out by the Department's auditors increased during the year, from which many violations on the employer's side seem to have been detected. 

Therefore, it is clear that the increase in checks and fines seems to work in favor of worker safety, which is reflected in data published in a previous report by the REPORTER , where it is clear that both fatal and serious workplace accidents accidents have decreased compared to previous years. 

In 2021 alone, violations by employers or employing companies reached 138, which is the second highest number of the last decade, behind only 143, in 2015. In fact, in the interim period, that is from 2016 to 2020, the violations they had barely reached 70, which means that the more checks there are, the more violations will be detected and at the same time the fewer workplace accidents will occur.

Where most breaches are found

According to figures from the Department of Labor Inspection, most breaches were in relation to the 'Safety and Health (Minimum Requirements for Temporary or Mobile Works) Regulations 2002 and 2015 ” and “on the Management of Safety and Health at Work Regulations of 2002”, where 33 violations were detected and fines of 100,400 euros were imposed in total.

It is noted that with regard to the “Safety and Health (Minimum Specifications for Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites) Regulations of 2002 and 2015”, in previous years not so many violations were detected, since it was not even in the top three, while on the contrary the “Regarding Management of Issues Safety and Health at Work Regulations of 2002”, ranked first in violations last year as well.

A large percentage of violations, which includes them in the top three, are also the “Safety and Health at Work Laws from 1996 to 2011”, since there were 28 cases of fines, which reached 39,650 euros. 

If one considers that the total fines for the year reached 190,600 euros, it can be easily understood that violations in the above categories made up the lion's share for 2021, since they reached 140,500 euros.

The first four are closed by violations of the “Minimum Safety and Health Standards (Use of Work Equipment at Work) Regulations of 2001 and 2004”, with 24 incidents and total fines of 33,500 euros.

Smaller fines were imposed for other offences, while nothing untoward was found in relation to six charges, relating to the Occupational Safety and Health Marking Acts and Regulations, Manual Handling of Loads, Occupational Safety and Health (Biological Agents), Occupational Safety and Health Acts and Regulations at Work (Chemical Agents),  on Safety Committees at Work Regulations of 1997,  and on Basic Requirements (Elevators).

In relation to the total number of fines imposed which reached 190,600 euros, they came close to the 2015 record of 220,800 euros. In between, the fines were noticeably smaller and never reached six figures. In 2016, fines of 85,950 euros were imposed, while 2017 saw a slight increase, closing at 92,250 euros. 

In 2018 the fines fell to 88,600 euros and in 2019 a further reduction was observed reaching 87,050 euros. Finally, in 2020, the penalties fell to 63,250 euros, however this is directly linked to the coronavirus and the huge reduction in turnover that occurred in all sectors. 

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Penalties for companies and natural persons

According to the Department of Labor Inspection,  within 2021, a total of 16 new criminal prosecution files were drawn up, 15 of which were forwarded to the representatives of the Legal Service for approval and promotion of the criminal prosecution of the accused.

As it states the report, a total of 42 penalties were imposed, of which forty involved monetary fines, while the other two were suspended prison sentences, against two natural persons. This is a person from Nicosia who was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for three years and a person in Limassol who was sentenced to five months in prison suspended for three years. 

Most of the fines were imposed in Nicosia ( 27) followed by Limassol (8), Larnaca (4) and finally Paphos and free Famagusta each.

The largest fine concerned a construction company, which received a fine of 38,000 euros, while it also follows construction company that received a fine of 13,000 euros. The third largest fine was imposed on a marble company, amounting to €12,000.

Among others, fines were also imposed on restaurants, metal companies, oil painters, transport companies, a mine and a butcher.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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