ILO - Macedonia
Wednesday, 02 July 2008 00:00
BITOLA- Macedonia still hasn’t a mechanism for occupational health and safety protection. Because of this the number of accidents at work is increasing every year.

The labour inspectors during the last year registered 18 deaths on work. According to the Macedonian health and safety association that rely on the information from the mediums, in 2007 there were 40 accidents that resulted with death for the workers.

In this statistical data are included the accidents of the professional drivers as well as the security officers from the security agencies. These victims are not evidenced by the inspection. The profession with the biggest risk is still the construction industry.

“The government still doesn’t have a special agency for occupational safety or health and safety, which is a practise in all European countries, but not the ones in our neighbourhood. The duty of this agency would be to prepare laws in this area, to sublimates the results and to give conclusions. Here, in our country this is done by the labour inspectors, and this is not their job.” Says Borce Stojcevski a occupational safety engineer, and a member of the Macedonian health and safety association.

The experts from this area are pressing harder on changing the present Law for occupational safety and punishment for the employers that will risk the safety of their workers.

“For the implementation of this Law there should be other .. This is the reason why the regulation can’t be fully implemented. The inspection is only trying to put on the basic which refers to the training and the measurements. But the most important part- the evaluation of the risk of the working place- still can’t function.” warns Stojcevski.

This kind of state in our country concerning the occupational safety is the reason why the employers are not been sanctioned for risking their workers life, according to the Bitola occupational safety association. The inspectors only press charges for the bosses who broke the law. The inefficiency of the courts in the reason why there is no sanctions.

“We have information that the Labour inspection has pressed charges but we have no data that any of the employers have been punished. That is the more difficult part. The inspector’s duty is to establish, to suggest and if necessary to press charges. After that it is all in the hands of the courts.” says Todor Veljanovski, an occupational inspector and the president of the association in Bitola. He adds that the same situation can be find in all of the former Yugoslav republics concerning the occupational safety.

Until implementing the changes in the law, there must be prevention, the experts suggest. That is the only way to help protect the workers health and life. Among others, the innovations foresight that on every 20 employees, there should be one trained person for first aid and fire fighting protection, and changes in the health protection of the workers.

The article is taken from Utrinski, July 02, 2008




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