The Importance of Having Proper Documentation during Work Place Inspections, by Pablo Sáenz

April 18, 2016
The Importance of Having Proper Documentation during Work Place Inspections, by Pablo Sáenz

The Department of Labor and Social Welfare (“STPS” for its Spanish acronym) schedules annual inspections for all companies in Mexico. The purposes of inspections may vary; however, they are mainly performed to review general labor conditions, safety, health and environmental work conditions as applicable to each company. During the performance of such inspections, the STPS inspectors request various documents from the company to confirm compliance with legal requirements established by the Federal Labor Law, the Federal Regulations on Safety, Health and Environmental Work Conditions and the various Official Mexican Standards (“NOMs” for their Spanish acronym) issued by the STPS. The following is a list of some of the main items that are subject to inspection: I. General Work Conditions: a) Individual Employment Agreements; b) Pay stubs of salaries and benefits; c) Attendance Records (including overtime); d) Employee Seniority Chart; e) Internal Work Rules; f) Collective Bargaining Agreement, if applicable; g) All documents related to the creation and acts of the Joint Commission on Profit Sharing; and h) All documents related to the creation and undertakings of the Joint Commission on Training, including plans, training programs, and evidence of compliance with such. II. Safety, Health and Environmental Conditions in the Workplace: a) All documents related to the Joint Commission on Safety and Health Conditions; b) All that is relative to prevention and protection against fires, including creation of the corresponding brigade; c) Permits and authorizations for operation of machinery and equipment; d) Warning signs and colors; e) Full use of adequate protection and safety equipment; f) Different manuals, programs, studies, and evaluations relative to machinery and equipment, noise and vibrations, lighting, ventilation, receptacles subject to pressure, vapor generators, chemical substances, abnormal atmospheric pressure, thermal conditions in the work environment, etc. and g) Notices and statistics on work accidents. Given the Federal Labor Law amendment, fines for violations by companies on this subject matter have increased considerably. Following the amendment, a fine is imposed for each violation and for each employee who is affected by such violation, resulting in an increase of inspection visits by STPS. Consequently, it is essential for companies to be prepared at all times. Companies will greatly benefit from conducting internal expert reviews to verify that the company is in compliance with all applicable legal and health and safety provisions. In the author’s experience preventive measures are always less expensive for companies than corrective measures.

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