General obligations, responsibilities, duties and rights

2. General obligations, responsibilities, duties and rights
2.1. Role and obligations of the competent authority
2.1.1. The competent authority should, in the light of national conditions and
practice, and in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers
and workers concerned, formulate, implement and periodically review a coherent
national policy (hereafter referred to as “the policy”) for eliminating or controlling
hazardous ambient factors. This should form part of the overall policy on occupational
safety and health and the working environment as required by the Occupational Safety
and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155). The policy should provide an adequate and
appropriate framework to bring about practical action, and should be consistent with the
protection of the general public and the environment.
2.1.2. The policy should:
(a) aim at preventing illness and injury to health arising out of, linked with or occurring
in the course of work, by identifying and eliminating or controlling the hazard or
risk from hazardous ambient factors in the working environment;
(b) be supported by laws and regulations and have a mechanism of inspection for their
(c) establish general principles and uniform procedures for the assessment of hazards,
risks and control measures and for appropriate occupational health surveillance;
(d) initiate and reinforce appropriate national activities such as monitoring the extent of
illness or injury, coordinating national research efforts into hazardous ambient
factors, and coordinating and promoting appropriate campaigns on hazardous
ambient factors at the workplace.
2.1.3. To give effect to the policy, the competent authority should:
(a) review periodically existing national conditions and practice for eliminating or
controlling risks to health from hazardous ambient factors at work, with a view to
identifying major problems, evolving effective methods for dealing with them, set-
ting priorities for action, and evaluating results;
(b) implement adequate and appropriate measures, including any necessary changes to
laws and regulations.
2.1.4. The competent authority or a body approved or recognized by it should
establish, review and update exposure limits or other exposure criteria for the evaluation
and control of the working environment in accordance with national or internationally
recognized technical standards.
2.1.5. The competent authority should secure the enforcement of national laws
and regulations concerning the policy through an adequate and appropriate system of
inspection. The system of enforcement should provide for corrective measures and
adequate penalties for violations of national laws and regulations concerning the policy.

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