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Health and Safety and Medical Services Requirement for the Argentinean Law

Law 19587 regulates H&S and Medical services in Argentina. Decree 1338/96 article 3, regulates what it is stated in the Law and requires to have H&S and medical services for the site/facility in accordance to the total member of employees. The fundamental objective of these services is to prevent, in their respective areas, any damage that may be caused to workers' lives and health by the conditions of their work, creating the conditions for health and safety to be a responsibility of the group of workers. the organization.

These services will be under the responsibility of university graduates, according to the detail that is set in articles 6 and 11 of this Decree. These services can be INTERNAL (an employee) or EXTERNAL (hire a company for medical services and health and safety). The decree states that you have to take in account the quantity of equivalent workers in the place of work in order to know the hours of the H&S and medical services you have to comply. Equivalent workers are defined as "number of workers equivalent" to the amount that results from adding the number of workers engaged in production tasks plus FIFTY PER CENT (50%) of the number of workers assigned to administrative tasks.

Regarding MEDICAL SERVICES, as you can see in the table below, you have to take in account the amount equivalent workers and on the other side the number of hours you have to have medical service present in the site weekly. So, for 151-300 workers you have to have someone for medical services (doctor) 5 hours a week in the site. For places of less than ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY (151) equivalent workers, the allocation of weekly medical hours in the site it is voluntary, except that for the type of risk, the competent authority provides otherwise.

Table 1

Regarding H&S SERVICES you have to take in account also the number of equivalent workers with the difference that you have to add RISK analysis of the activity. So, WORKERS + RISK ANALYSIS OF THE ACTIVITY= MONTHLY HOURS OF H&S SERVICE. Low risk activities demands less monthly hours of H&S service. On the contrary, higher risks activities demands more monthly hours of H&S service.


In the graphic below you can see LOW risk activities (applies Chapters 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 18 to 21 of the Decree), MEDIUM risk activities (applies Chapters 5, 6, 7 y 11 to 21 of the Decree) and HIGH risk activities (applies Chapters 5 to 21 of the Decree) depending of the application of less or more chapters regulated by the Decree. The evaluation of the risk of the activity has to be made by a university graduated professional.

Table 2

Decree 1338/96 - Article 14 has exemptions to this:

Article 14 states that: “The following entities are exempted from the obligation to have professionals and technicians in hygiene and safety assigned:

a) Establishments engaged in agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing that have up to FIFTEEN (15) permanent workers.

b) The agricultural holdings by season.

c) The establishments dedicated exclusively to administrative tasks of up to TWO HUNDRED (200) workers.

d) Establishments where commercial or service tasks of up to ONE HUNDRED (100) workers are developed, provided that toxic, flammable, radioactive and dangerous products are not handled, stored or fractionated for the worker.

e) Medical services without hospitalization.

f) Educational establishments that do not have workshops.

g) Auto repair shops that employ up to FIVE (5) equivalent workers.
h) Places of public recreation that do not have areas for maintenance, of less than THREE (3) workers.

In establishments where the employer is exempt from having the Medicine and Safety at Work Services, the Labor Insurance Company must provide the necessary advice in order to promote compliance with current legislation by the employer. 

The professional in H&S has to have a certification to be considered a safety technician/specialist as required by Decree either if it’s an employee (internal) or external professional (a third party).