NR-03 Embargo and Interdiction

(SEPRT Ordinance No. 1068, of 09/23/2019, DOU 09/24/2019)

Summary
3.1 Objective
3.2 Definitions
3.3 Characterization of Serious and Imminent Risk
3.4 Requirements for Embargo and Interdiction
3.5 Final Provisions

3.1 Objective

3.1.1 This standard establishes the guidelines for the characterization of serious and imminent risk and the objective technical requirements for embargo and interdiction.

3.1.1.1 The adoption of these technical requirements aims at forming consistent, proportional, and transparent decisions.

3.2 Definitions

3.2.1 Serious and imminent risk is considered any work condition or situation that may cause an accident or illness with serious injury to the worker.

3.2.2 Embargo and interdiction are urgent measures adopted upon the identification of a work condition or situation that characterizes serious and imminent risk to the worker.

3.2.2.1 Embargo implies the partial or total stoppage of the work.

3.2.2.2 Interdiction implies the partial or total stoppage of the activity, machine or equipment, service sector, or establishment.

3.2.2.3 Embargo and interdiction may be associated with one or more of the hypotheses referred to in items 3.2.2.1 and 3.2.2.2.

3.2.2.3.1 The Labor Inspector must adopt the embargo or interdiction in the smallest unit where a serious and imminent risk situation is found.

3.3 Characterization of Serious and Imminent Risk

3.3.1 The characterization of serious and imminent risk must consider:

a) the consequence, as the outcome or potential expected outcome of an event, as per Table 3.1 (Correction in D.O.U. of 01/23/2020 – section 1 – page 57); and

b) the probability, as the chance of the outcome occurring or being in progress, as per Table 3.2 (Correction in D.O.U. of 01/23/2020 – section 1 – page 57).

3.3.2 For the application of this standard, the risk is expressed in terms of a combination of the consequences of an event and the probability of its occurrence.

3.3.3 When assessing risks, the Labor Inspector must consider the consequence and the probability separately.

3.3.4 The classification of the consequence and the probability will be carried out based on the Labor Inspector’s assessment.

3.3.5 The classification of the consequences must be carried out according to Table 3.1, and the classification of the probabilities according to Table 3.2.

Table 3.1: Classification of Consequences

ConsequenceGeneral Principle
DeathMay result in immediate or subsequent death.
SevereMay impair physical integrity and/or health, causing permanent injury or sequelae.
SignificantMay impair physical integrity and/or health, causing an injury that results in temporary incapacity for more than 15 days.
MildMay impair physical integrity and/or health, causing an injury that results in temporary incapacity for 15 days or less.
NoneNo injury or health effect.
Table 3.1: Classification of Consequences

Table 3.2: Classification of Probabilities

ClassificationDescription
ProbablePreventive measures are non-existent or clearly inadequate. A consequence is expected, with a high likelihood of occurring.
PossiblePreventive measures have significant deviations or problems. No guarantees exist that the measures will be maintained. A consequence might happen, with a conceivable possibility of occurring.
RemotePreventive measures are adequate but with minor deviations. Although functioning, there are no guarantees they will always be maintained long-term. A consequence is unlikely to happen, almost improbable.
RarePreventive measures are adequate and ensure the continuity of this situation. A consequence is not expected, not common, extraordinary.
Table 3.2: Classification of Probabilities

3.3.6 In characterizing a serious and imminent risk to the worker, the Labor Inspector must establish the excess risk by comparing the current risk (found situation) and the reference risk (target situation).

3.3.7 Excess risk represents how far the current risk (found situation) is from the expected reference risk after preventive measures are implemented (target situation).

3.3.8 Table 3.3 must be used by the Labor Inspector in case of individual exposure or a reduced number of potential victims exposed to the assessed risk.

3.3.9 Table 3.4 must be used to evaluate situations where exposure to risk may result in injury or illness to multiple victims simultaneously.

3.3.10 The descriptors of excess risk are: E – extreme, S – substantial, M – moderate, P – small, or N – none.

3.3.11 To establish the excess risk, the Labor Inspector must follow these steps:

a) first step: assess the current risk (found situation) arising from the found circumstances, considering the existing control measures, i.e., the total level of risk observed or considered to exist in the activity, using the classification indicated in the columns on the left side of Tables 3.3 or 3.4 (Correction in D.O.U. of 01/23/2020 – section 1 – page 57);

b) second step: establish the reference risk (target situation), i.e., the residual risk level when the necessary preventive measures are implemented, using the classification in the lines at the bottom of Tables 3.3 or 3.4 (Correction in D.O.U. of 01/23/2020 – section 1 – page 57);

c) third step: determine the excess risk by comparing the current risk and the reference risk, finding the intersection between the two risks in Table 3.3 or 3.4 (Correction in D.O.U. of 01/23/2020 – section 1 – page 57).

3.3.12 For both current and reference risks (defined in the first and second steps, respectively), the consequence must be determined first, followed by the probability of the consequence occurring.

3.3.12.1 The work conditions or situations contemplated in regulatory standards are considered as the target situation (reference risk).

3.3.12.2 The Labor Inspector must always consider the consequence with the highest predictability of occurrence.

3.4 Requirements for Embargo and Interdiction

3.4.1 The work, activity, machine or equipment, service sector, or establishment is subject to embargo or interdiction as soon as the Labor Inspector identifies the existence of extreme excess risk (E).

3.4.2 The work, activity, machine or equipment, service sector, or establishment is subject to embargo or interdiction, considering the specific case circumstances, as soon as the Labor Inspector identifies the existence of substantial excess risk (S).

3.4.3 The Labor Inspector must consider whether the situation found is subject to immediate adequacy.

3.4.3.1 If immediate adequacy is feasible, the Labor Inspector will determine the need to halt activities related to the risk situation and immediately implement preventive and precautionary measures to mitigate the risk, without generating additional risks.

3.4.4 Situations with an assessment of moderate (M), small (P), or no (N) excess risk are not subject to embargo or interdiction.

Table 3.3 – Excess Risk Table: Individual Exposure or Reduced Number of Potential Victims

Table 3.4 – Excess Risk Table: Exposure to Risk May Result in Injury or Illness to Multiple Victims Simultaneously

3.5 Final Provisions

3.5.1 The qualitative evaluation methodology provided in this standard is specifically intended for characterizing situations of serious and imminent risk by the Labor Inspector and does not constitute a standardized methodology for risk management by the employer.

3.5.1.1 The use of the methodology provided in this standard is waived for imposing embargo or interdiction measures when a condition or situation defined as serious and imminent risk is found in the Regulatory Standards.

3.5.2 Embargo and interdiction are emergency measures for the protection of worker safety and health, not punitive measures.

3.5.2.1 In work conditions or situations where there is no regulatory forecast of the target situation (reference risk), the Labor Inspector must include in the justification the technical criteria used to determine the target situation (reference risk).

3.5.3 The imposition of embargo or interdiction does not preclude the issuance of infraction notices for non-compliance with occupational safety and health standards or other labor legislation related to the analyzed situation.

3.5.4 During the period of embargo or interdiction, activities necessary to correct the serious and imminent risk situation may be carried out, provided that safety and health conditions for the involved workers are guaranteed.

3.5.5 During the service stoppage due to interdiction or embargo, workers will receive their wages as if they were in active service.