249398 Challenges of the Spanish system of Safety and Health at Work: The effectiveness of preventive regulation and protection of workers against the damage caused by accidents

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Francisco Jose Gualda , Cabinet Legal Studies. Comisiones Obreras., Director, Albacete, Spain
In 1995, Spain introduced a new regulatory system, as a result of the implementation of European Union Directive (EUD), to address the management on the prevention of occupational risks. This system, although validated by the EUD, which is approved by all European countries, shows an important difference in Spain where rates of occupational accidents remain very high. The study aimed to describe, compare and analyze the difficulties in the implementation of the preventive Spanish model given the peculiarities of the industrial relations system, based on small companies with small capitalization, high rates of unemployment and precarious employment. Results show significant developments in the protection mechanisms for occupational injuries and diseases. The model show advances, and has been extended from being solely based on protection through the public Social Security system to include all the damages caused in the life and physical integrity of workers. It has been identified that these changes have not resulted from legal reforms, but due to the incorporation into the legal doctrine and jurisprudence of a new vision of the workers' position in the labor relationships, which in turn have also created problems of jurisdiction, liability and quantification standards. To address all the emerging issues, currently reforms are being carried out in the field of procedural and substantive legislation to set general criteria for cases of this responsibility and the quantification of damages.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Health and Safety Regulatory System in Spain.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Occupational Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I have education (MD, MPH, PhD) and vast experience in Occupational Health and Safety. I am the director of the Technical Office of Legal CCOO Trade Union Confederation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.