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Who is the RLS (Worker Safety Representative)?
The RLS (Workers' Safety Representative) is a security figure set up to support workers, as it is the person elected or appointed to represent workers on health aspects and of safety at work (articles 37, 47, 50 of Legislative Decree 81/2008).
As indicated by Legislative Decree 81/2008, companies must guarantee the presence of a Worker safety representative (RLS) which must be guaranteed by the employer and the training necessary to manage relations with workers for issues concerning health and safety at work, and access to information and activities related to the management of company workplace safety.
How is the RLS elected?
The Representative is elected by the workers, in different ways, depending on the number of employees employed by the company and remains in office for 3 years. The companies that occupy no more than 15 workers, vote for the Representative choosing him from the employees, while the companies that count more than 15 workers elect the Representative for safety within of the company union representatives. If the company does not have these bodies, the Representative is chosen from among the workers by voting.
Legislative Decree 81/2008 also establishes that the appointment of RLS must take place in one day for the whole nation, more precisely during the national day for safety and health on the work, within the European week for health and safety at work. Once the RLS has been appointed, the employer (according to Article 18, paragraph 1, letter a) has the task of making the necessary communication to INAIL of the appointment of the RLS.
How many RLS must be elected in the company?
Article. 47, paragraph 7, D.Lgs. 81/2008 identifies three classes of companies by number of employees, each of which requires a minimum number of RLS:
The number of representatives may however be different for contracts and special agreements between the parties.
What are the tasks of the RLS?
The RLS is the only one, among all the protagonists of health and safety in the company, that can interact with all the other security figures as employee trustee on whose behalf: supervises the quality of the work environment (hygiene); participates in all phases of the process of preventing occupational risks (from the identification of the danger to the planning and application of prevention and protection measures); acts as a reference point between employer, workers, union and institutions. More specifically, the most important features of the RLS activity are:
Who is the RLST (Territorial Worker Representative)?
Another figure of particular importance within the workers' representatives is the Representative of the workers for territorial security (RLST) which exercises the same functions and tasks as the RLS within all companies o production units of the area or area of competence in which there is no worker safety representative.
The methods of election of the RLST are different from those of the RLS, as they are established by collective national, interconfederal, or category agreements, and by the most important employers' associations and of workers.
Who is the RLSP (Representative from workers by production site)?
The Representative of workers for the safety of the production site (RLSP), defined in the art.49 of the Consolidated Law D.Lgs. 81 RLSP, is present in all those business realities that are created when a series of companies or construction sites find themselves operating in the same context, for example, in the ports that are the headquarters of the port or maritime authority identified by decree of the Ministers of labor and transport; in intermodal transport centers; in steel plants; in construction sites where more than thirty thousand day-men work; in production contexts in which many workers operate simultaneously, so much so as to cause interference among the companies present.
What training courses should the RLS do?
Article. 50, paragraph 1, of Legislative Decree 81/2008 requires that the Workers' Safety Representative receive special and adequate training in safety and health, which takes into account both of information of a general nature with respect to safety in the workplace rather than the specific risks affecting the company in which the working activity takes place.
The RLS, once elected, must therefore follow a training course lasting at least 32 hours on subjects related to its activity, of which 12 hours focused on the specific risks present in the company and the prevention and protection measures adopted. The contents of the training course are indicated in the art. 2 of the Ministerial Decree 16 January 1997.
The formation of the RLS must take place at the expense of the employer, in collaboration with the Joint Organizations; it cannot be lower than that provided for workers, it is particular and additional to this and it must be centered on the risks existing in the sector in which the company carries out its activity, in order to know the appropriate techniques of control and risk prevention.
The training course for Workers' Safety Representatives (RLS) is governed by Article 37, paragraph 11 of Legislative Decree 81/2008, which specifies that the methods, duration and contents specific to the training of the workers' safety representative are established in the national collective bargaining.
The Regions State Agreement of 7 July 2016 has specified that the basic training for RLS cannot be carried out in e-Learning mode , but it should be done only with presence training. The e-learning modality is to be considered valid only if expressly provided for by collective bargaining. The employer who intends to carry out training for RLS in e-learning mode must therefore verify in advance whether these courses are planned, not foreseen or expressly forbidden by national collective bargaining (CCNL) strong> applied in the company.
What update must the RLS make?
In addition to basic training, each RLS must carry out an annual update on current regulations and on workplace health and safety methodologies.
The contents of the refresher courses for RLS refer to paragraph 11 of the same art. 37 Legislative Decree 81/08, which refers to the national collective bargaining the modalities of the periodic update obligation, setting the minimum duration of the same in 4 hours per year for the companies that occupy by 15 to 50 workers and 8 hours per year for companies employing more than 50 workers. Following the State Regions Agreement of 7 July 2016 the training for refresher courses for RLS cannot be carried out in e-Learning mode, but should only be carried out with in-person training. p>
The refresher course for RLS is not mandatory for companies that employ less than 15 workers but it is also recommended in light of the recent regulatory provisions issued by the Ministry of Labor according to which the training of workers and their representatives must be periodically repeated in relation to the evolution of the risks or the onset of new risks.