Health and Safety workshop for the NIS region

The Health and Safety workshop for the NIS region took place from 19 to 20 December 2011. The workshop was organized with the support of the LO/TCO and logistic support from the Ukrainian unions.

Twenty participants from NIS countries and CEE took part in the workshop: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

The seminar was organized as a follow up activity after the one organized last year and had the purpose to debate and exchange experience on health and safety situation in the region and proposes future action.
The following presentations have been made during the workshop:

*ILO perspective on Health and Safety; standards, mechanisms, technical assistance; the ILO representative in Ukraine, Vasyl Kostritza presented the situation as concerns the tripartite cooperation on H and S in the country, the role unions play.

*Olga Lytvyniuk made a presentation of the projects the ILO is developing on Health and Safety both in Ukraine and Republic of Moldova.

The ETUI senior researcher, Viktor Kempa presented the EU perspective on occupational health and safety, the EU policies on Health and Safety; role of trade unions; workers’ H and S representatives and current priorities in health and safety at work, ETUC priorities.

The EU dimension was further enlarged by Emilia Dimitrova from CITUB Bulgaria and Corneliu Constantinoaia from CNSLR Fratia Romania, countries that newly entered the EU; they referred to the specific situation in their countries and the challenges unions are facing. Presentations have been made also by AHIK Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia and Moldova. In most countries in CIS the former Soviet Union regulations are still in force. Main role is given to labor inspection and prevention measures are not developed enough.

Conclusions of the workshop and way forward:

After debates and different interventions and comments the workshop participants came to the following priorities and things to be improved in future:

1 They stressed the importance of unions and their activities, which have a key role in developing the health and safety policy at company and national levels;
a) Promotion of the role of workers health and safety representatives
b) Increasing the visibility of workplace health and safety problems
c) Mobilizing workers to improve working conditions
d) Trade union health and safety policy must be also considered as a means to better organize precarious workers, migrant workers, self-employed and other workers neglected by health and safety at work measures especially in the context of rising inequalities both economic and social as a result of the on going crisis; health and safety rules have to be applied also in workplaces with these vulnerable workers

2. A special attention must be allocated to the importance of improving the social dialogue when negotiating the health and safety clauses in the CLAs

3 Of utmost importance is introducing preventive culture when discussing the national programs

4. Cooperation must be strengthened between organizations in the region; exchange of experience to be organized; necessity to continue the activity of the network; necessity for training; necessity for proper dissemination of information inside the organizations

5. The future cooperation must be structured, ie the working plan for next 2-3 years should be drafted and consulted with representatives of NIS

6. Necessity to use the TAIEX instrument in preparing both regional and individual projects on country basis; TAIEX provides for technical assistance in developing legislation, harmonization of legislation, exchange of knowledge/systems; beneficiary are both trade union organizations and employers organizations; beneficiary countries In the region are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine and Russia.

7.Proposal to collect information on basic arrangements in health and safety through a questionnaire and short studies; to draft the questionnaire and send to participant countries and after approval and correction to be distributed; role of ETUI in giving the expertise.
Proposal agreed by participants:
In order to find common issues to be discussed and improved in the future there is a need to have a research instrument in order to sum up priorities and common problems. The idea to work on a questionnaire on basic health and safety issues for each country was supported by all participants.

The following steps should be undertaken:

°dissemination of questionnaire – beginning next year

°establish a task force to analyze the questionnaire

°based on results to prepare a project with TAIEX – on regional level involving a number of interested countries from the beneficiaries of the TAIEX program

Participants were also very interested to start individual country projects with TAIEX with the expert support of ETUI and PERC.


Opening notes V.Kempa
ESENER analysis
ETUC strategy
ETUI. Safety representatives
Policy strategy Bulgaria