ILO - Macedonia
Thursday, 30 April 2009 07:21

In this country, last year, there were 178 injuries at a working place, 62 of them ended fatally. The data of the Macedonian association for occupational safety and health at work show this data.

Every 15 seconds in the world, one employee dies at the working place, and 160 get injured. 5.500 employees throughout the world do not see the end of the working day and above 1 million employee end the day with injuries. This is shown by the world statistics for the occasion of the World day for Safety at work which was yesterday. There are no official data on the safety of the employees in this country. The Macedonian association for occupational safety and health has at disposal the facts collected from the daily press, i.e. that almost every second day one employee gets injured.

Last year, there were 178 injuries at a working place, 62 of them end fatally. We use the articles in the media as a source of information. But, our numbers differ from those given by the State Labor Inspectorate. They calculate that last year there were only eight death cases, and according to the Republican Institute for Health Protection, the number is even smaller – stated Milan Petkovski, president of the Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association. According to Petkovski, the Macedonian employee is not protected at the working place at all.

The safety at work in our country is simply a cost which the employers want to eliminate. In such situation, you can expect that the employee will not get injured at work or will not get sick at the working place. The employees and the employers often say in relation to the accidents that “it was his/her destiny” – says he. According to him, most threatened employees are the construction workers, transport employees – who often die at the roads and the agriculturists – who are exposed to injuries and death caused by machines and tools, are poisoned by pesticide and are exposed to hazardous chemical influences. The employers admit that in this country it is not invested enough for the safety of the employees.

Macedonia is a risky country in relation to the safety and protection during work. The legislation of EU is applied in our laws, but that is not enough and it is necessary for some time to pass for implementation. At the same time, the employees miss funds. These laws require engagement of expert persons, regular examinations and special relation towards the protection. I hope that in future the safety will be raised at higher level and that the injuries during work will be decreased – says Dimitar Stojanovski, president of the Organization of the employers. The trade unions do not have precise statistics for the injured employees. In the trade unions for building and mining it is said that the Law on Safety at Work is not obeyed.

In this country above 7.500 construction companies are registered, only small number of them minimally fulfils the legal conditions. The excuse of the Labor Inspectorate that they do not have enough personnel on the spot can not be justified – says Pavel Trendafilov, president of the Trade Union for building within the Association of Trade Unions of Macedonia. According to him, last year there were from 8 to 10 death cases at the construction sites, and the number of injured employees is bigger. He says he is worried by the fact that due to fear from dismissal the injured employees do not report the injury by themselves.

Thursday – the most fatal day

Thursday is the most fatal day for the Macedonian employees. On that day at most, 19 employees got injured at the working place. The Annual report of the Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association shows this. Even though it was believed that Monday was the most fatal day, and Saturday and Sunday were the safest days because they are days-off, the analyses have shown the opposite. Major part from the injuries and accidents at the working place has happened on Saturday (16) and on Sunday (12) in comparison to Monday, a day when the employees get least injured (10).

The article is taken from Dnevnik April, 29, 2009




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