Ask Enhesa Vol. 16: Mexico

by Gabriela Troncoso Alarcón and Tjeerd Hendel-Blackford 29 Jan. 2019

You asked and we answered!
Enhesa’s team of multilingual regulatory analysts are committed to providing quality insight and analysis around the latest EHS news and developments via our newsletters, webinar series and blog posts. In response, our team often receives a variety of questions regarding the broad realm of EHS topics we cover. To meet this demand, we launched “Ask Enhesa,” a reoccurring blog series where our in-house regulatory experts take the lead in answering all of your topical EHS policy and regulatory questions.

 To what extent does Mexico’s H&S regulations cover employees being victims of violence? What is an employer’s duty to mitigate security risks?

According to the Federal labor law, employers in Mexico have an obligation to prevent occupational risks, among which are work-related accidents and occupational diseases.

Previously, the Federal Labor Law in Mexico did not give employers any obligations to prevent employees from becoming victims of violence (security risks). However, on June 22, 2018 an amendment to the Federal labor law updated the definition of work-related accident to include “the death or disappearance of the employee derived from a criminal act, that happens unexpectedly while doing the job or because of the job at any place or time.”

Therefore, the employer now has the obligation to prevent employees from being the victims of a criminal act while working or because of the work itself.

Employers must comply with the Federal labor law, health and safety regulations as well as the applicable official Mexican standards (Normas Oficiales Mexicanas – NOMs) to mitigate and prevent occupational risks.

 What are the regulatory obligations in Mexico regarding medical examinations for divers or other employees exposed to different pressures other than normal pressure?

Medical examinations for employees exposed to abnormal pressures include initial and periodical examinations; the frequency of medical examinations will vary depending on the age of the employee. Examinations can be required every six months, annually or according to the frequency required by the physician. For example, employees between 18 and 35 years old must undergo medical examinations annually. This can be found in the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and NOM-014-STPS-2000.

Is there a requirement to have an H&S committee established in a company with less than 50 employees?

Yes, at least one H&S committee must be established in the workplace with equal number of employers and employee representatives. In workplaces with less than 15 employees, the H&S committee must be comprised of one employee representative and one employer representative. The structure of the H&S committee is more complex when there are more than 15 employees in the workplace. This is established in the Federal labor law, the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and NOM-019-STPS-2011.

 In Mexico, is the requirement to have a health and safety officer for companies with 100 people or more applicable to offices?

All offices must have a health and safety officer—regardless of the number of employees. The only difference is that in offices or workplaces with less than 100 employees, the employer can assume such a role rather than appointing an officer (either an employee or an external person). This is established in the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and NOM-030-STPS-2009.