Safety, Prevention and Health

Legals Aspects

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
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)
Ionising radiation
Non-ionising radiation
Chemical products
Electricity hazards
Fire hazards
Dangerous machinery and appliances
Biological hazards
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.