Under Luxembourg law, employers are required to take every step to ensure the protection of the safety and health of their employees in every aspect of their work. As part of their obligations, in accordance with article L.312-3 of the Labour Code employers designate one or more of their employees to deal with the prevention of professional risks and the provision of protection in the workplace; these employees are referred to hereafter as safety officers.
Safety officers are required to know the legislation on health and safety in the workplace as it applies to the company employing them, and must have the necessary technical knowledge to be able to assess health and safety problems in the workplace.
To be able to carry out their tasks, as defined in article 4 of the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 9 June 2006 on safety officers, safety officers must have the necessary abilities, namely:
- have a minimum basic qualification as defined in article 6 of the above-mentioned Grand-Ducal Regulation;
- have the professional experience as defined in article 6 of the above-mentioned Grand-Ducal Regulation;
- have attended appropriate training as defined in article 7 of the above-mentioned Grand-Ducal Regulation.
Safety officers must meet all the conditions listed above within twelve months of being designated. During the intervening period, employers must carry out the tasks of safety officers themselves.
For companies with no more than 49 employees, the employers themselves may act as safety officers provided that they meet all the conditions of the above-mentioned Grand-Ducal Regulation with regard to the time made available, appropriate training, professional experience, and minimum basic qualification.
The number of safety officers, the time that must be made available to them (see Annex II of the above-mentioned Grand-Ducal Regulation), the minimum basic qualification, amount of professional experience, and methods for the appropriate training for safety officers vary according to group or sub-group to which the company belongs. Annex I of the Grand-Ducal Regulation mentioned defines seven groups of companies (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) according to the number of employees and the sector of activity.
Training courses for safety officers are organised, depending on the sector concerned, by:
- the House of Training (for the administrative and financial sector, for example);
- the Chamber of Trades (for the food sector, sanitation, construction, mechanical sector, fashion, health and hygiene, for example);
- the Institute for training in construction sector (Institut de Formation Sectoriel du Bâtiment - IFSB) (for the building sector, construction and sustainable construction, mechanised construction and machinery, for example).
Safety officers may not suffer any disadvantage because of their prevention and protection activities. Furthermore, in accordance with article L.312-8, paragraph 7 of the Labour Code, the cost of appropriate training and additional training for safety officers cannot be charged to them, and such training must take place within their work time.