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Equatorial Guinea

Health and Safety Standards

Explore workplace health and safety laws in Equatorial Guinea

Health and safety laws

Equatorial Guinea's health and safety laws are relatively limited. The primary legislation includes Law No. 2/1990 of February 4, 1990, on the General Labor System, which forms the foundation of health and safety regulations in the country. It outlines basic employer and worker responsibilities related to health and safety.

Primary Legislation

  • Law No. 2/1990 of February 4, 1990, on the General Labor System: This law outlines basic employer and worker responsibilities related to health and safety.

Key Provisions under the General Labor System

  • Employers' Responsibilities:
    • Provide safe working conditions and equipment
    • Train workers on health and safety matters
    • Establish health and safety measures
    • Provide medical care in case of work-related accidents or illnesses
  • Workers' Rights:
    • Right to refuse dangerous work
    • Right to report health and safety hazards
    • Right to participate in health and safety decision-making

Institutional Framework

  • Ministry of Labor, Employment Promotion, and Social Security: Responsible for developing and enforcing health and safety policies and legislation.
  • Social Security Institute: Includes a Department of Occupational Risks, which plays a role in health and safety management.

Challenges and Limitations

  • Limited Health and Safety-Specific Regulations: Equatorial Guinea lacks detailed regulations on many specific health and safety hazards, such as hazardous substances, ergonomics, and workplace violence.
  • Informal Sector: A large portion of the workforce is in the informal sector, where health and safety regulations are often not followed.

Additional Considerations

  • International Labor Conventions: Equatorial Guinea has ratified several ILO Conventions related to health and safety. These conventions may provide additional guidance even if they are not fully incorporated into domestic law.
  • Sector-Specific Regulations: Some sectors, such as mining and oil and gas, may have additional industry-specific health and safety regulations.


  • Develop Comprehensive Health and Safety Regulations: Equatorial Guinea should create more detailed regulations addressing specific workplace hazards.
  • Promote Awareness and Training: Conduct awareness campaigns and provide training to both employers and workers on their health and safety rights and responsibilities.
  • Formalize the Informal Sector: Extend health and safety protections to the informal sector of the economy.

It's always advisable to consult with legal professionals specializing in Equatorial Guinea's labor law for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information regarding the country's health and safety regulations.

Occupational health and safety

Occupational health and safety (OSH) in Equatorial Guinea is primarily governed by the Labor Code, with additional regulations and orders issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers bear the primary responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace. This includes conducting regular workplace hazard identification and risk assessment, implementing preventive measures to control hazards, providing medical examinations for employees, and reporting workplace accidents and diseases.

Employee Rights

Employees have several important rights related to occupational health and safety. These include the right to be informed of workplace hazards, the right to participate in OSH decision-making, and the right to refuse work they believe poses a serious and imminent danger to their health or safety.

Enforcement and Compliance

The Labor Inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security is responsible for enforcing OSH standards. This includes conducting worksite inspections and investigating accidents. Non-compliant businesses may face fines or orders of closure.

Challenges and Improvements

The Labor Inspectorate may face limitations in resources, hindering its ability to consistently monitor and enforce safety standards. OSH regulations can be more difficult to enforce in the large informal sector of the Equatorial Guinean economy. There is also a need for stronger awareness among employers and employees regarding OSH rights and obligations.

Workplace inspection

Workplace inspections in Equatorial Guinea play a crucial role in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. They are instrumental in identifying potential hazards, ensuring regulatory compliance, protecting workers, and promoting continuous improvement in occupational safety and health (OSH) standards.

Procedural Steps for Workplace Inspections

Workplace inspections typically follow a set of procedural steps:

  1. Planning and Preparation: Labor inspectors gather information about the workplace, review relevant OSH regulations, and develop an inspection plan.
  2. Opening Conference: Inspectors meet with the employer or their representative to explain the purpose of the inspection and the scope.
  3. Walkthrough Inspection: A physical inspection of the workplace is conducted.

Inspection Criteria

Workplace inspections focus on a variety of criteria, including:

  • Workplace Housekeeping and Sanitation
  • Machine Guarding and Equipment Safety
  • Fire Protection and Emergency Preparedness
  • Electrical Safety
  • Handling and Storage of Hazardous Materials
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Ergonomics
  • Workplace Violence Prevention

Frequency of Inspections

The frequency of workplace inspections might vary depending on several factors such as the industry and risk level, past compliance history, and worker complaints. High-risk industries and sectors may warrant more frequent inspections. Workplaces with a history of violations might be subject to increased inspections. Worker complaints of potential hazards can also trigger targeted inspections.

Post-Inspection Actions

After a workplace inspection, the employer is generally responsible for addressing violations, implementing recommendations, and maintaining records of all corrective actions taken. Employers must take timely corrective actions to address any identified hazards or violations of OSH regulations. They should also consider recommendations provided within the inspection report to improve overall workplace safety and health.

Workplace accidents

In Equatorial Guinea, employers are required to report any workplace accidents or incidents that result in injury or illness to the relevant authorities. The timeframe for reporting may vary depending on the severity of the incident, with serious accidents or fatalities needing to be reported immediately. The primary agencies responsible for receiving these reports are likely the Ministry of Labor and the Social Security Institute.

Investigation of Workplace Accidents

The relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Labor, are typically responsible for initiating investigations into workplace accidents. The aim of these investigations is to determine the root causes of the accident, identify any safety regulations that were violated, identify responsible parties, and make recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future. Employers are legally required to cooperate fully with these investigations, which includes providing access to the accident site, making relevant documentation available, and facilitating interviews with employees.

Compensation for Workplace Accidents

Equatorial Guinea has a workers' compensation system in place, likely administered by the Social Security Institute. Injured workers or the families of deceased workers may be eligible for compensation benefits, including medical expenses, disability benefits, lost wages, and death benefits. The specific procedures for filing workers' compensation claims would be outlined by the Social Security Institute or the relevant authority. In cases of disputes over compensation claims, the matter may be referred to a labor court or a similar legal body for resolution.

Important Considerations for Employers

Employers are advised to maintain detailed records of all workplace accidents and incidents, regardless of severity. This is crucial for compliance, investigations, and potential compensation claims. Furthermore, employers have a fundamental duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. This includes implementing preventive measures, conducting risk assessments, and providing appropriate safety training.

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