A new Law no. 135/2016 "On safety and health at work,
emergencies and rescue in mining and underground works of
Hydropower plants" (the "Law") has
entered into force on January 27, 2017.
Albania is rich in water reserves and over the past decade a
special focus is set on the water resources exploitation for energy
production, granting by concession the most part of Albanian water
cascades. However, Hydropower stations can pose significant safety
risks to those who work in them.
Aiming to strengthen the state inspection system, the Law has
introduced for the first time, inter alia, the concept of
monitoring and control by state authorities of the underground
works such as tunnels, galleries, channels, wells, etc. in
hydropower plants. The previous Department of Inspection and Rescue
of Mines responsible for the safety control in the underground
mining works is replaced by the National Authority for Security and
Emergencies in Mines (AKSEM) a directorate under
the Minister of Energy and Industry. AKSEM inspectors' activity
shall cover not only the mining underground works but also those of
The implementation of the new law would lead to the prevention
of work-related injuries and illnesses of employees and other
persons performing work, as well as property damage and incidents
in the construction of underground works in hydroelectric power
plants and in the mining activities.
Prior to commencement of its operations, any subject in
possession of a mining permit and any subject contracting a
specialized service over a mining permit, as well as any subject
that has reached a contractual agreement to carry out underground
work for Hydropower plants, is required to be registered with AKSEM
and declare the relevant persons in charge with the administrative
and technical management as well as safety at work problems. In the
event of dangerous accidents or fatalities, as well as in cases of
serious emergency requiring emergency intervention and rescue
corps, the operators must immediately notify AKSEM.
Entities who do not guarantee safety at work may be subject to
fines by AKSEM up to the revocation of the license by the Minister.
AKSEM can also suspend execution of works in objects evaluated as
threatening to the life of the employees or in entities that are
not complying with the technical rules on safety and health at
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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