REGULATORY BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Russian Federation has 86 subjects of federation – 21 republics, 7 territories, 48 regions, 7 autonomous districts, 1 autonomous region and two federal cities – Moscow and St. Petersburg. Two levels of legislation process exist in Russia – Federal legislation and State legislation. On the federal level the legislative process involves both chambers of Parliament – the laws (including EHS regulations) are adopted by the State Duma, approved by the Federation Council and signed then promulgated by the President of the Russian Federation. Federal laws come into force ten days after their official publication. By-laws are adopted by the Government, ministries, departments and state services. On the local level, subjects of federation have the right to develop their own legislation in the field of EHS which may not contradict the set of rules issued at national level.
MAJOR EHS REGULATORY TOPICS IN RUSSIA THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation is the main ministry charged with environmental protection in the legislative process and through participation in legal projects. The Ministry controls the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision, which ensures environmental and economic security of the Russian Federation, and the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, that carries out inspections in the field of energy, mining supervision, industrial safety and use of nuclear energy.
Emissions of harmful substances (pollutants) into the air are allowed on the basis of permits issued by the territorial bodies of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources. Among the key environmental issues in the Russian Federation are:
- Air pollution; water pollution; land pollution and soil degradation
- Radioactive contamination
- Industrial waste
Waste management: Order regulating the the procedure for the development and approval of waste generation and disposal limits; Sanitary rules that define the classes of hazardous toxic waste production and consumption.
Water: Water Code; Decree that sets standards for allowable emissions of substances and micro-organisms in water bodies.
Soil: Land Code of the RF; State standards related to land use.
Air: Federal Law on Air Protection; Decree that sets requirements for emissions of harmful substances (pollutants) into the air.
Health and Safety at work:
The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation is the main executive authority in the HS field. Besides initiating laws it elaborates various legal programs. The Ministry is advised by the Federal Service of Labor and Employment which oversees the implementation of labor laws, employment, social protection and the Federal Agency for Technical Regulations and Metrology that develops national standards for the production and quality of products, protection of employees.
General health and safety regulations are to be found in the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, adopted on 30.12.2001, which aims to regulate the work of specific categories of employees, further targeting concepts such as working time, rest time, training and skills development.
Protection of workers: Order that establishes rules on the Inter-industry of special clothes, special footwear and other personal protective equipment; National standard that applies to means used to prevent or reduce exposure of employees to hazardous and harmful factors; National standard that establishes requirements for industrial equipment and safety requirements to working places.
Safety at the workplace: National standard which deals with ventilation systems, air conditioning and air heating systems of manufacturing, administrative and other buildings; National standard that sets the characteristics and acceptable noise levels at the workplace and general requirements for protection against workplace noise; National standard which establishes general requirements regarding vibration in production, transportation, construction, mining and other works related to the adverse effects of vibration on the human; National standard about general sanitary requirements for workplace air quality.
Recording and investigation of accidents: Decision that regulates the investigation of acute occupational diseases; Order that sets procedures for the technical investigation into the causes of accidents.