Executive decree No. 42371-MTSS-S sanctioned by the Executive Power from the hand of the Costa Rican Ministries of Labor and Health determined “the activation of protocols and sanitary measures in the workplace by the commissions and offices or departments of occupational health due to COVID-19”. Its objective is to promote that occupational health commissions, offices or departments collaborate with the dissemination and implementation of protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and other public authorities, before the declaration of a state of emergency due to the pandemic by COVID-19.


This decree applies to all work centers located in Costa Rica, whether public or private and includes a series of obligations for employers, namely, to comply with all legal provisions, protocols and other sanitary measures established by the Ministry of Health and other public authorities regarding the application of measures in the workplace, inform workers about the content of protocols established by public authorities due to the emergency caused by COVID-19 and maintain safety and security conditions established in the guidelines issued by the authorities for the work centers.


Regarding the obligations of the occupational health commissions, offices or departments, the aforementioned decree establishes that they must comply with a series of additional obligations, among these are to ensure that the work centers comply with the legal provisions issued in the protocols and guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19, establish communication channels between employers and workers concerning the guidelines issued by the authorities, promote information activities for the prevention of occupational risks due to coronavirus, among others.


Lastly, the decree establishes that workers are also obliged to fulfill a series of obligations in the exercise of their duties, for example, reporting any risk and contagion situation of COVID-19, collaborating and participating in training programs, submit to the guidelines issued by the health authorities, among others.


All Costa Rican employers need to take the above into account for their operations and their labor relationships with their employees.