This page presents a summary of Swiss law (Classified Compilation of Federal Legislation) regarding safety applicable to EPFL.
You will also find on the Confederation site legal texts particularly concerning occupational health and safety (Health-Employment-Social Security).
Legal bases and executive bodies
1.1 Occupational health and safety
The regulations governing the protection of employees are, in the public law domain, laid down in the Loi sur le travail (LTr) and the Loi sur l’assurance-accidents (LAA).
The Loi fédérale sur le travail dans l’industrie, l’artisanat et le commerce (LTr) concerns preventive health care generally. The provisions of this law apply to EPFL to a lesser extent.
Ordonnance 3 relative à la loi sur le travail (Hygiène, OLT 3) regulates occupational health protection generally and is applicable to EPFL.
- Executive bodies for EPFL
- Inspection fédérale du travail (IFT – does not have its own site, see SECO site)
The Loi fédérale sur l’assurance-accidents (LAA) regulates safety in the workplace. This act contains provisions concerning the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases. SUVA, the executive body of EPFL, is a private public law institution grouping Prevention, Accident and Insurance activities.
The Ordinance on maternity protection Ordonnance sur la protection de la maternité defines the criteria for assessment of dangerous and heavy work (risk analysis) in the sense of art. 62 §3 of the labour act ordinance OLT 1, and describes the substances, micro-organisms and activities potentially presenting a high health hazard for the mother and child (grounds for prohibition) according to art. 62, §4, OLT 1.
These laws are completed by a series of ordinances and directives of the Federal Coordination Commission for Occupational Safety (FCOS), the most important of which is the Ordonnance sur la prévention des accidents et des maladies professionnelles (OPA).
The list of other ordinances can be found under point 83 Social security.
1.2 Protection of the environment
The protection of the environment is, in the public law domain, governed particularly by the Federal Act on the Protection of the Environment (EPA) and the Federal Act on the Protection of Waters (WPA).
The related ordinances that concern EPFL are:
- Ordinance on Protection against Major Accidents (MAO). Aim of the ordinance: protect the population and environment from serious damage resulting from major accidents. Other related legal texts directly concern the domain of biological hazards.
- Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC). Aim of the ordinance: protect human beings, animals and plants, their biological communities and habitats, and the soil, against harmful effects or nuisances caused by air pollution.
1.3 Legal aspects linked with specific hazards
The acts and ordinances concerning particular aspects of occupational health and safety at EPFL have been grouped together below by topic.
Ergonomics: ordinances 3 and 4 relating to the Loi sur le travail
- Ordonnance relative à la loi sur le travail (Hygiène, OLT 3)
- Ordonnance 4 relative à la loi sur le travail (OLT 4) (Industrial companies, approval of plans and licensing)
- Computer work stations (Article 23 OLT 3)
- General layout of work stations (Article 24 OLT 3)
- Loads (Article 25 OLT 3)
- Lighting (Article 15 OLT 3)
Occupational hygiene: physicochemical pollution linked with the work environment
- Noise (article 22 OLT 3)
- Vibrations (Article 22 OLT 3)
- Indoor climate in premises (Article 16 OLT 3)
- Ventilation (Article 17 OLT 3)
- Air pollution (Article 18 OLT 3)
- Protection of non-smoking employees (Article 19 OLT 3 abrogated, see Ordonnance concernant le tabagisme passif, OPTP)
- Sunshine and calorific radiation (Article 20 OLT 3)
- Radiological Protection Act (RPA)
- Radiological Protection Ordinance (RPO)
- Ordonnance sur l’utilisation des sources radioactives non scellées
- Ordonnance sur la dosimétrie individuelle (Ordonnance sur la dosimétrie)
- Ordonnance sur la protection contre le rayonnement non ionisant (ORNI)
- Magnetic fields and radio frequencies
- The Federal Act on protection against Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Chemicals Act, ChemA) and the Ordinance on Protection against Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Chemicals Ordinance, ChemO).
- The norms and directives concerning fire are published by the AEAI (Association des établissements d’assurance incendie).
Dangerous machinery and appliances
- Article 82 of the loi fédérale sur l’assurance-accidents (LAA). The obligations of employers and employees: according to Article 328 of the Swiss Civil Code (Part Five: Code of Obligations), the employer is obliged to protect the life and health of the employee. This general obligation is clarified in the relevant provisions of the Loi fédérale sur l’assurance-accidents (LAA)and theOrdonnance sur la prévention des accidents et des maladies professionnelles (OPA).
- Ordonnance sur l’utilisation des organismes en milieu confiné (OUC). Aim of the ordinance: protect human beings and the environment, particularly animals and plants, and their biological communities and habitats, against the harmful effects or nuisances resulting from the use of organisms in a confined environment. It also aims to contribute to the conservation of biological diversity and soil fertility.
- Ordonnance sur la protection des travailleurs contre les risques liés aux microorganismes (OPTM). Aim of the ordinance: determine the measures to be taken to ensure the protection of employees in the event of the use of microorganisms and exposure to such entities.
- Ordinance on the Handling of Organisms in the Environment (RO). Plants: Ordonnance n° 916.20 sur la protection des végétaux, Art. 8, of 5 March 1962 (Status as at 15 February 2000). Animals: loi sur les épizooties (LFE), Art. 1 of 1 July 1966 (Status as at 20 April 1999) and Art. 27, par. 4.
First aid: Each person ensures their own safety and that of their entourage. Each person has the obligation to be acquainted with current safety regulations and to apply them.