Answer ... No specific requirements in this regard are applicable in the oil and gas sector. Health and safety requirements in the industrial sector are set out in the following instruments:
- Law87-31 dated 6 July 1987 ratifying Arab Convention 7 on health and safety at work;
- Law94-28 dated 21 February 1994 on a compensation regime for damages resulting from work accidents and occupational diseases;
- Decree2000-1989 dated 12 September 2000 setting out a list of businesses which must appoint a responsible person for safety at work;
- Decree2000-1985 dated 12 September 2000 on the organisation and functioning of occupational healthcare services;
- Decree68-88 dated 28 March 1968 relating to hazardous establishments;
- Decree 68-83 dated 23 March 1968 specifying the types of works that require specific health surveillance;
- Decree68-328 dated 22 October 1968 setting out general hygiene rules applicable to businesses subject to the Labour Code;
- Decree75-503 dated 28 July 1975 setting out protection measures for employees working in establishments using electrical currents;
- the Order of the State Secretary of Industry dated 19 March 1959 setting out general safety rules for elevators;
- the Order of the Ministry of Social Affairs dated 12 June 1987 listing equipment and components which cannot be used, marketed, sold or leased without a safety device; and
- the Order of the Ministry of Social Affairs dated 5 May 1988 setting the maximum weight of loads to be carried by a single worker.
Answer ... Different administrations play an active role in the enforcement of health and safety regulations, such as the following:
the Ministry of Employment/Ministry of Social Affairs:
- the General Directorate of the Labour Inspection;
- the Directorate of Inspection of Health and Safety at Work;
- the National Social Security Fund; and
- the Institute of Health and Safety at Work, a public administrative establishment created by Law90-77 of 7 August 1990 which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Affairs;
the Ministry of Interior:
- the Department of Civil Protection;
- the National Institute of Normalisation and Industrial Property;
- the National Agency of Environment Protection;
- the Ministry of Public Health;
- the National Centre of Radioprotection; and
- private organisations (eg, civil society associations, training and teaching bodies).
The Superior Council of Prevention of Professional Risks was also established to coordinate the activities of the above bodies, pursuant to Decree1761 of 25 November 1991, as amended by Decree96-1001 of 20 May 1996.
Answer ... Given the significant number of legal instruments applicable in this regard, it is not possible to provide an exhaustive summary of the consequences of breaches and sanctions.
As an example, any breach of health and safety requirements pursuant to Decree68-328 dated 22 October 1968 setting out general hygiene rules applicable to businesses subject to the Labour Code may be sanctioned by fines ranging from TND 24 to TND 60 (Article 234 of the Labour Code). The court can also order the implementation of safety measures within an appropriate timeframe; if such measures are not implemented accordingly, the court can order the closure of the establishment.
Any occupational accident will also entail the civil and/or criminal liability of the employer, which will be governed by the applicable regulations in force, such as:
- the Code of Obligations and Contracts;
- the Penal Code; and
- Law 94-28 of 21 February 1994 related to the compensation of damages resulting from work accidents and professional diseases.
Answer ... Article 152-2 of the Labour Code imposes a general duty on employers to take all necessary and appropriate measures to protect their workers and mitigate professional risks. An employer has several obligations in this regard, including:
- to protect the health of the employees at work sites;
- to guarantee an appropriate workplace and working conditions;
- to protect employees against risks inherent in the use of equipment, tools and other products;
- to provide individual and collective means of protection and train employees in their use; and
- to inform employees of the risks of their job.
Best practices in relation to health and safety are issued by the Tunisian Institute of Health and Safety at Work. The employer must establish measures to safeguard health and safety in accordance with the applicable regulations. For example, employers with more than 500 employees must establish an occupational health service; while those with fewer than 500 employees must join a group occupational health service or set up their own occupational health service (Article 153 of the Labour Code).
Employers with more than 40 employees must have an occupational health and safety committee, comprised of:
- The employer or his representative;
- two representatives of the employees;
- the occupational doctor; and
- the person responsible for safety at the company.
The committee has the following duties:
- to develop and implement company health and safety policies;
- to provide information and training in the field of occupational health and safety; and
- to propose programmes for the prevention of professional risks within the company and ensure that such programmes are followed up.
A person responsible for safety at the company must also be appointed (Article 154-5 of the Labour Code).
Answer ... No data is available on the specific approach to health and safety issues in the oil and gas sector.
However, diseases relating to hydrocarbon products are expressly recognised and listed in the occupational diseases schedule lists (Schedules20 to32 annexed to the Order of the Ministry of Social Affairs of 10 January 1995, amended on 29 March 2018, and setting out the list of occupational diseases).