Within the project “Increasing capacities and strengthening the role of regional CSOs for improving labour conditions and labour dialogue with public institutions” in December, 2016 were organized three cross sector meetings, with venue at the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.
The first cross sector meeting was organized on 12.12.2016 for representatives of trade unions, civil society and media organizations. At this meeting were discussed OSH problems and possible approaches of problem solving, aimed at raising awareness among employees and employers, as well as greater involvement of trade unions and media organizations. It was pointed out that the employees have insufficient knowledge of the legislation, or do not know enough of their rights and obligations. Many of them still do not know that there is OSH law. It was underlined the necessity of greater involvement of employee representatives and trade unions in risk assessment and safety statement. One of the Issues on national and regional level is the lack of a public register of accidents at work and occupational diseases.
The second cross sector meeting was held on 13.12.2016. Attendees were legal entities, authorized for performing professional activities in safety at work, experts for safety at work, acting independently and in the companies, and media organizations.
It requires continuous upgrading of the professionals, and participation in trainings, where in addition to professional development, they will gain with communicational skills. In the list of professions there’s no category – OSH expert, which is profession that requires special attention. Another problem which was stated at the meeting is that the purchase of PPE (personal protective equipment) is done through public procurement, and instead of quality equipment, workers receive less expensive one.
The third cross sector meeting was held on 19.12.2016. Participation took representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Health, State Labour Inspectorate (SLI), Institute of Public Health, Faculty and media organizations.
Each one talked about the problems and challenges of OSH in their area.
The conclusion was that it is necessary the law to be referred to the general framework, but with detailed guidelines for each workplace, also covering specific areas.There’s necessity for new methods in the health sector, as keeping records of injuries and occupational diseases. The capacity of the SLI is limited and there’s a need for expanding their capacity.
The conclusions of these three meetings will be shared among all participants, who will be able to give their suggestions and corrections in favor of drafting a strategy, resulting from this project.
These events were followed and supported by many media: