Appointing and training safety officers

This page was last modified on 09-03-2016

In order to ensure the occupational health and safety of his employees, each employer must appoint at least one safety officer (designated worker - travailleur désigné) among his staff.

The safety officer will be entrusted with all activities regarding the prevention and protection of occupational risks in the business.

He/she must fulfill certain conditions in terms of qualification, training and experience within 12 months following his/her appointment. The number of safety officers to be appointed and the time they must be given to carry out their task depends:

  • on the number of staff in the business;
  • on the number of hazardous jobs;
  • on the size and sector of the business.

Who is concerned

All employers can freely appoint their safety officers among their staff. It is preferable to ensure that safety officers are not appointed against their own will.

The employer can:

  • either appoint one or more safety officers among his staff;
  • or fill the position himself if he employs less than 50 staff provided he meets the conditions of qualification and experience;

When a safety officer resigns, the employer must fill the position within 2 months. As long as the employer has not yet appointed a new safety officer or if the appointed safety officer does not yet meet the conditions required, the employer is allowed to fill the position himself for a maximum time of 12 months

Preliminary steps

Before appointing a safety officer, the employer must inform the staff delegation or the joint works committee, where applicable.

It should be noted that joint works committees (also "joint works councils") will cease to exist after social elections that take place after 1 January 2016. As from these elections, the tasks and duties assigned to joint works committees will be transferred to the staff delegations in companies which had at least 150 staff during the 12 months preceding the first day of the posting of the announcement of elections.

Until these elections, the joint works committees currently in place will continue to carry out their tasks.

How to proceed

Number of safety officers to be appointed

Calculating the amount of time granted to each safety officer

The number of safety officers to be appointed depend on the group or subgroup to which the business belongs, and which is determined by:

  • the number of staff in the company;
  • the business's sector of activity.

These groups or subgroups determine the minimum time that employers must allocate to safety officer(s) to let them implement protective and preventive measures against occupational risks within the business and/or company.

In the case where some employees hold hazardous positions, the safety officer(s) is(are) given more time to fulfill his(their) task.

When an employer has determined the total amount of time which must be allocated to the safety officer(s), he can calculate the number of safety officers to be appointed.

Time allocated to the safety officer according to the business group (in seconds/day)

Group

Subgroup

Number of staff

Time allocated per employee (T)

Additional time allocated per hazardous position (Tr)

Group A
1 to 15 employees

 

1 - 15

70 s/d

70 s/d

Group B
16 to 49 employees

 

16 - 49

70 s/d

70 s/d

Group C
50 to 1,599 employees

excluding groups E, F and G

C1

50 - 99

50 s/d

70 s/d

C2

100 - 249

45 s/d

50 s/d

C3

250 - 449

40 s/d

45 s/d

C4

450 - 649

35 s/d

40 s/d

C5

650 - 949

30 s/d

35 s/d

C6

950 - 1,299

25 s/d

30 s/d

C7

1,300 - 1,599

25 s/d

25 s/d

Group D
1,600 employees or more
excluding groups E, F and G

D1

1,600 - 1,999

25 s/d

20 s/d

D2

2,000 or more

25 s/d

15 s/d

Group E
950 employees or more

  • metal transformation, mecanical precision industry, optical industry (excluding group F)

  • manufacturing (excluding group F)

  • production of stone, cement, concrete, pottery, glass and other

  • transport sector

E1

950 - 1,299

30 s/d

35 s/d

E2

1,300 - 1,599

25 s/d

30 s/d

E3

1,600 - 1,999

25 s/d

25 s/d

E4

2,000 or more

25 s/d

20 s/d

Group F
650 employees or more

  • production and distribution of electrical energy, gas, vapor and hot water

  • production and preliminary processing of metals

  • chemical industry (excluding group G)

  • production of artificial and synthetic fibres

  • manufacturing of metal constructions

  • construction of machines and mechanical equipment

  • construction of automobiles and spare parts

  • construction of other transport equipment

  • wood and wooden furniture

  • building works and civil engineering

F1

650 - 949

35 s/d

40 s/d

F2

950 - 1,299

30 s/d

35 s/d

F3

1,300 - 1,599

25 s/d

30 s/d

F4

1,600 - 1,999

25 s/d

25 s/d

F5

2,000 or more

25 s/d

20 s/d

Group G
450 employees or more

  • manufacturing of basic chemicals

  • petrochemistry and carbochemistry

  • production of other chemicals mainly for the industrial and agricultural sector

G1

450 - 649

40 s/d

45 s/d

G2

650 - 949

35 s/d

40 s/d

G3

950 - 1,299

30 s/d

35 s/d

G4

25 s/d

30 s/d

G5

1,600 - 1,999

25 s/d

25 s/d

G6

2,000 or more

25 s/d

20 s/d

Calculation of the number of safety officers to be appointed

In order to calculate the number of safety officers needed, the employer must

  • multiply the time allocated per employee (T) by the total number of staff in the company (S);
  • where applicable, multiply the additional time allocated per hazardous workplace (Tr) by the total number of hazardous workplaces in the company (Sr);
  • add together the sums of the 2 previous calculations to get the minimum average time in seconds which must be allocated to the safety officer to carry out his task;
  • divide by 60 to obtain the minimum average time (TMM) in minutes per day.

Employers must use the following formula:

[(S x T) + (Sr x Tr)] / 60 = TMM

The result obtained should be compared with the table below in order to determine the number of safety officers to be appointed:

Time (minutes/day)

Number of safety officers to be appointed

1 mn/d to 480 mn/d

1

481 mn/d to 960 mn/d

2

961 mn/d to 1,440 mn/d

3

1,441 mn/d to 1,920 mn/d

4

as from 1,921 mn/d

5

Example: a company with 150 employees and 10 hazardous workplaces belongs to group C, and more specifically to subgroup C2:

The employer must allocate the following amounts of time to the safety officer to carry out his task:

  1. 45 s/d per employee
  2. 50 s/d per hazardous workplace
  3. [(150 x 45) + (10 x 50)] = 7,250 s/d
  4. 7,250 / 60 = 121 mn/d to be allocated to the safety officer(s)

In this case, the employer must appoint 1 safety officer.

Whenever a business carries out their tasks on several operating sites, the employer must appoint one safety officer for each site with more than 200 employees.

Training and responsibility of safety officers

Mandatory training and experience

The employer must ensure that each safety officer meets the requirements in terms of qualification, training and experience needed to carry out the task within 12 months following their appointment.

The requirements with regard to qualification and training vary depending on the group or subgroup the business belongs to:

Mandatory training and experience for safety officers

Group

Mandatory
professional
experience

Qualification and training

A

Minimum 1 year in an area
similar to the business's activity

  1. specific training course including:

    • 4 hours of basic training;

    • and 8 hours of specific training on existing risks in the business;

  2. completion of 4 hours of vocational training within 5 years.

B

Minimum 2 years in a key area
of the business

  1. professional qualification in one of the business's areas of activity;

  2. training course including:

    • 8 hours of basic training;

    • and 20 hours of specific training on existing risks in the business;

  3. completion of 8 hours of vocational training within 5 years.

C1, C2, C3,
C4
(financial
and administrative sectors)

Minimum 3 years in a key area
of the business

  1. professionnal qualification in one of the business's areas of activity;

  2. training course including:

    • 32 hours of basic training;

    • and 56 hours of specific training on existing risks in the business;

  3. completion of 8 hours of vocational training within 5 years.

C4
(excluding the
financial and administrative sectors),
C5, C6 and C7

Minimum 3 years in a key area
of the business

  1. qualification as a technical or industrial engineer in one of the business's areas of activity;

  2. training course including:

    • 48 hours of basic training and;

    • and 88 hours of specific training on existing risks in the business;

  3. completion of 10 hours of vocational training within 5 years.

D, E, F, and G

Minimum 2 years in a key area
of the business

  1. qualification as a engineer with a specialisation in the business's key area;

  2. training course including:

    • 48 hours of basic training and;

    • and 118 hours of specific training on existing risks in the business;

  3. completion of 10 hours of vocational training within 5 years.

Depending on the area of activity, training classes for safety officers are organised by:

If the safety officer does not meet the training requirements, the employer must:

  • register the person for adequate training (at the business's expenses);
  • grant training leave to the person concerned.

Role and responsibility of safety officers

A safety officer must:

  • enforce existing legal provisions and regulations with regard to the safety and health of the workforce, including the employees under a fixed-term employment contract or who have been seconded within the framework of a temporary loan of labour;
  • act as the employer's representative and define the business strategy in terms of the development of safety and health for its employees;
  • oversee the work procedures and resources deployed, the assessment and risk studies as well as the means put in place to prevent accidents;
  • carry out regular safety inspections;
  • keep the safety inspection register and maintenance books;
  • develop, maintain and communicate safety and health plans, as well as warning, alarm, intervention and evacuation procedures;
  • prepare, organise and conduct evacuation drills;
  • assess the business's or establishment's situation in terms of occupational safety and health;
  • maintain good relations with the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (Inspection du travail et des mines - ITM), the supervisory bodies, the occupational health service where the business is registered, the supervisory bodies for occupational health and safety as well as the emergency services in case of accident and fire.

The employer must keep the safety officer(s) informed about:

The safety officer is not automatically granted a delegation of power by the employer. The employer may however delegate certain powers to the safety officer(s), namely with regard to:

  • the elimination of occupational risks;
  • the set up of a risk prevention plan;
  • the provision of the means required for the prevention of occupational risks.

Who to contact

2, Circuit de la Foire Internationale
L-1016 - Luxembourg
Postal box B.P. 1604
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 42 67 67 - 1
Fax: (+352) 42 67 87
Email contact@cdm.lu

7, rue Alcide de Gasperi
L-2981 Luxembourg -
Postal box B.P. 13 L-2010 Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 46 50 16-1
Fax: (+352) 46 50 19
Email customer@houseoftraining.lu

Opening hours
from 8.00 to 12.00 and from 13.15 to 17.15
5, Zone d'Activités Economiques Krakelshaff
L-3290 - Bettembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 26 59 56
Fax: (+352) 26 59 07 44