SWAM held the third Cross sector meeting on March 15th 2017. in Podgorica, within the regional project „Increasing capacities and strengthening of the role of the regional CSOs for improvement of the labour conditions and labour dialogue with public institutions“.
The purpose of the meeting was to identify the issues within the area of safety and health at work in Montenegro from the public institutions’, OSH professionals’ and CSO representatives’ point of view, as well as the role of the media in creating preventive culture, when it comes to safety and health at work.
30 people participated at the meeting: representatives from Montenegrin public institutions (Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Ministry of Health, Administration of Inspection Affairs, Occupational medicine), OSH professionals, representatives of SWAM, as well as the media.
We expect this to lead to a closer cooperation between SWAM and the Montenegrin public institutions, an encouragement of the dialogue on the improvement of labour conditions, as well as the raising of common awareness of the importance of professional practice and common activities in the education of employers and employees when it comes to safety and health at work and increasing the role of public institutions in creating public politics and better cooperation with the media.
The participants of the meeting all agreed on the fact that the legal obligations in the area of safety and health at work in Montenegro aren’t applied, which causes injuries at work. The biggest issue, as they mentioned, though, is the low level of knowledge in this area, which leads to the final conclusion that a continuous education of both employees and employers is needed in Montenegro.
Like on the previous cross sector meetings, when the meeting was to be held, the biggest problem was the leak of interest by the media to participate at the meeting. RTCG, the Montenegrin public service, was one of the few to show great interest in this area, and even made a couple of TV transmissions about the meetings, as well as the topic on safety and health at work itself.
The final conclusion of all the attendees at the meeting was that education at all levels is highly needed when it comes to safety and health at work in Montenegro, and that the education should be practised in high schools and universities. The representatives also agreed on the fact that more should be done regarding continious education of OSH professionals, since the recieving of the licence itself by passing an OSH exam, doesn’t make them professionals in that area without a continious extra education.
Regarding the comments of the OSH professionals from the previous cross sector meeting, that the authorized inspections and ministries are often responsible for disregards of the law when it comes to a large number of employers, the answer was that the Administration for Inspection Affairs has very limited capacities, which is a huge problem.
The representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare shared their content about their good cooperation with the representatives of SWAM, whose representatives were members of the group responsible for making changes in the law on safety and health at work, but that the cooperation could get even better. The representatives from the CSOs showed their disapproval of not getting to participate in the making of the subordinate legislation, and that it’s a pity that public institutions don’t use their competence- knowlegde and experiences.