Workplace Safety for Non-Employees: Understanding Injuries and Obligations

Workplace safety is a top priority for every responsible employer. However, when it comes to non-employees working outside the traditional employment relationship, the waters can get murky.

In this article, we will delve into the realm of workplace safety for non-employees, exploring their status, obligations of employers, and what constitutes a workplace injury in such scenarios.

Understanding these crucial aspects will help create safer work environments for all, regardless of their employment status.

  1. The Grey Area: Non-Employees and Workplace Safety


The question of workplace safety arises when considering individuals who are not in a formal employment relationship with an employer. Contracts outside traditional employment, such as temporary or occasional jobs, pose unique challenges when it comes to safety training and injury definitions.


  1. Defining Non-Employees and Employees in Labor Law and ZBZR


Labor Law categorizes employees as individuals in a formal employment relationship with an employer, while the Law on Occupational Safety and Health (ZBZR) broadens the definition to include those undergoing work or training with the employer. Non-employees, in contrast, work under specific arrangements outside the scope of formal employment.


  1. Safety Training Obligations for Non-Employees


Employers, as defined under ZBZR, must ensure safety training for employees when entering into an employment relationship or other work engagements. The critical question is whether these obligations extend to non-employees working on the employer’s premises under specific arrangements.


  1. Determining Workplace Injuries for Non-Employees


According to both Labor Law and ZBZR, an injury will be considered a workplace injury for non-employees only if it is directly connected to the work for which the individual is insured, spatially, temporally, and causally.

  1. Employer Obligations for Non-Employees Working Under Their Control


If non-employees work on the employer’s premises and under their direct control, the employer holds the status of an employer under ZBZR. In such cases, the employer must fulfill all obligations under the law, including providing safety training, assessing risks, and taking preventive measures.

  1. Non-Employees Working Independently: Employer Exemptions


When non-employees work independently without the employer’s direct control, as can be the case with specific work contracts, the employer’s obligations may not apply. In such situations, employers may not be obligated to provide safety training or follow injury reporting procedures.

  1. Insurance Coverage for Non-Employees


Non-employees engaged in specific arrangements, such as temporary and occasional jobs or professional training, may have insurance coverage for healthcare and compensation in case of a workplace injury, depending on the terms agreed upon in their contracts.

Workplace Safety for Non-Employees: Serbian Court Approach to Question of Liability and Protective Measures

Navigating workplace safety for non-employees can be complex, but it’s essential to address these challenges to ensure the well-being of all individuals in a work environment. Employers must carefully consider their obligations under ZBZR when non-employees work on their premises under their control.

PS. As we continue to adapt to evolving work arrangements, fostering a culture of safety and responsible practices for both employees and non-employees will create a safer and more productive work environment for everyone involved.

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