Persons managing workers must organise workstations in accordance with occupational health and safety provisions and rules.
Quality standards for machines and devices
Machines and other technical devices that do not meet conformity assessment requirements set out in separate provisions cannot be used at workstations.
Employers must consult all measures related to occupational health and safety with workers or their representatives, especially changes in work organisation and equipment at workstations.
Conditions at workstations
Workstations should be organised appropriately for the type of operations carried out there and workers’ psychophysical characteristics. The dimensions of the free area (not occupied by devices) at workstations must allow workers sufficient freedom of movement to safely perform their work, taking into account ergonomic requirements.
Workstations which present a fire or explosion risk, a risk of falling objects or projections, or a risk of exposure to factors harmful to health or hazardous should be fitted with appropriate protective devices.
Workstations at which factors harmful to health or hazardous are present due to the work performed there should be situated and organised in such a way that workers employed at other workstations are not exposed to these factors.
Workstations located outdoors should be situated and organised so that workers are protected against hazards caused in particular by:
- weather conditions, including precipitation, low or high temperature, strong wind and falling objects;
- harmful noise levels and harmful gases, vapours or dust.
In the event of danger, workers should be able to leave their workstations swiftly or, if necessary, be rapidly assisted.
Safety at workstations
An area resulting from technological needs and appropriate auxiliary devices for storing materials, products, appliances, tools and waste must be ensured at workstations.
Raw materials, finished products, auxiliary materials and waste cannot be stored at workstations in quantities greater than those resulting from technological needs, making it possible to ensure the continuity of work on the given shift. Production waste should be gradually removed.
Materials used for cleaning, saturated or contaminated with substances and preparations classified as hazardous or odorous during work, must be kept in closed containers made from non-combustible materials and at least once a day removed from workrooms and destroyed in a manner specified in manuals.
Accessways and passages
A safe and convenient accessway should be ensured to each workstation. Its clear height along the entire length should not be less than 2 m.
In cases justified by the design of machines and other technical devices, the height of an accessway may be reduced to 1.8 m, provided that it is appropriately secured and marked with safety symbols compliant with the Polish standard.
Passages between machines and other devices or walls intended only for the handling of these devices should be at least 0.75 m wide. If persons move in two directions along these passages, they should be at least 1 m wide.
Adapting workstations to the needs and abilities of workers with disabilities
Employers who employ workers with disabilities should ensure that workstations and accessways are adapted to these workers’ needs and abilities resulting from reduced physical fitness.
Standing and sitting position
Workers who are not required to remain in a standing position while working must have the opportunity to sit.
Workers who are required to remain in a standing position or walk while working must have the opportunity to rest in a sitting position next to workstations. Seats should meet the requirements of Polish standards.
Portable ladders used at establishments should meet the requirements specified in Polish standards.
They should be used in accordance with their intended purpose, in a way that does not endanger their users and persons in the vicinity. Safety requirements for the use of ladders are set out in provisions on the minimum occupational health and safety requirements for the use of machines by workers at work.
Natural daylight at individual workstations should be appropriate for the type of work performed and required accuracy and should meet the requirements specified in the Polish standard. Regardless of natural daylight, electric lighting with parameters compliant with Polish standards must be provided in workrooms.
Windows, skylights and rooflights
Windows, skylights and rooflights in workrooms with high humidity should be designed in such a way as to prevent the formation of condensation. In rooms where there is a particularly large amount of condensation and drops of water could fall on workstations, mini gutters or other devices draining water away from windows, skylights and rooflights must be installed.
Windows and skylights should be equipped with appropriate devices for protecting workstations against excessive sunlight.
Protecting rooms against uncontrolled heat emission and the inflow of cool air
Rooms and workstations should be protected against uncontrolled heat emission through radiation, conduction and convection and against the inflow of cool air from outside.
Local supply ventilation must be used in workrooms in which the amount of heat emitted through radiation exceeds 2 500 (kJ x hour)/m2. The parameters of the air supplied to workrooms should meet the requirements for a hot microclimate set out in provisions on the maximum permissible concentrations and intensities of agents harmful to health in the working environment.
Air conditioning or ventilation
The air supplied to workrooms from outside through air-conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems should be free of dust and substances harmful to health. Air conditioning or ventilation cannot cause draughts, or overcool or overheat workrooms. This does not apply to emergency ventilation. Air streams from supply ventilation systems should not be aimed directly at workstations.
Maximum temperature of supplied air
The maximum temperature of supplied air should not exceed 70 °C (343 K) with air supply at a height of no less than 3.5 m above the floor level at a workstation, and 45 °C (318 K) in other cases.
Occupational risks and the application of preventive measures
Employers must fulfil the obligation to ensure occupational health and safety in the workplace primarily by preventing hazards resulting from the work performed, appropriately organising work, applying necessary preventive measures and providing information and training to workers. This obligation should be fulfilled on the basis of general rules for preventing work-related accidents and diseases, primarily by adjusting working conditions and work processes to workers’ abilities, especially by appropriately designing and organising workstations, selecting machines, other technical devices and work tools, as well as production methods and working methods, taking into account whether work is made less arduous, in particular monotonous work and work at a predetermined work-rate, and reducing the adverse impact of such work on workers’ health.
Covering dangerous components with guards
Moving components and other parts of machines that pose a risk on contact should be covered with guards up to a height of at least 2.5 m above the floor level (platform) at a workstation or fitted with other effective protective devices, except where these requirements cannot be met due to the function of machines.
Protection of workstations against noise
At workstations where the noise level exceeds the acceptable standards in spite of the application of possible technical and organisational solutions, employers must:
- determine why the permissible noise levels have been exceeded and develop and implement a programme of technical and organisational measures to effectively reduce workers’ exposure to noise;
- mark noise hazard zones and, where justified by the degree of risk and feasible, limit access to these zones by fencing them off.
Liquid hazardous materials
Containers with liquid hazardous materials and hot liquids may be placed over workstations or passages only where necessary for the purposes of the technological process. In such cases, devices must be used to protect workers who are below these containers against spillage. Workstations cannot be organised over rooms containing permanently installed containers with compressed or liquefied gases and gases dissolved under pressure.
Work on scaffoldings and suspended access platforms
If work is performed on scaffoldings at a height of over 2 m above the surrounding floor level or outdoor area and on suspended access platforms, safe vertical communication and access to workstations must primarily be ensured.