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New particularities of labor activities in mining and construction industries

On 31 March 2012 Chapter 51.1.of the Russian Labor Code will enter into force (hereinafter – “the Chapter”). The Chapter is introduced by Federal Law dated 30 November 2011 No. 353-FZ “On amendments to the Russian Labor Code”. It is concentrated on particularities of labor activities of workers that are engaged into underground work.

Thus, starting from 31 March 2012 mining and construction companies will face new obligations. In this alert we will describe the key novelties. More…

Fist of all, the Chapter defines a list of underground workers:

  • workers which are directly engaged into extraction of natural resources by underground method;
  • workers which are engaged into work connected with underground  structures (with the exception of structures, construction of which is effectuated by cut-and-cover way), namely:

–    construction of underground structures;
–    exploitation of underground structures;
–    search and rescue activity in underground structures.

Second, the Chapter provides for the mandatory medical examination for underground workers:

  • at the beginning of a working day;
  • within a working day;
  • at the end of a working day.

The Chapter lists additional grounds for suspending a worker from underground work (in addition to article 76 of the Russian Labor Code):

  • breach of safety requirements;
  • non-usage of individual protection equipment;
  • a worker has at his/her disposal some forbidden objects, named in article 330.4 of the Russian Labor Code (e.g. smoking accessories, fire sources, alcohol beverages etc.) if the underground place is situated under highly explosive non-fireproof industrial objects.

The Chapter also provides two solutions with regard to the payments of a worker during suspension:

  • salary is not accrued;
  • salary is accrued as payment for standing idle, if a worker failed to pass extraordinary security requirements knowledge and application of individual protection equipment not due to his/her fault.

Finally, new obligations are imposed on mining and construction companies:

  • not to provide access to workers which have medical contra-indications and (or) which fail to satisfy the relevant qualification requirements;
  • not to provide access to workers if they are not provided with the necessary special work wear and other individual protection equipment, with regard to which obligatory certification or conformity declaration was exercised;
  • to ensure organization and carrying out underground works in compliance with technical documentation, technological norms and requirements for equipment, technological procedures, instruments used in course of manufacture process, raw materials and resources.