Social dialogue at the workplace

ILO bolsters occupational safety and health committees in Albanian construction sector

The ILO organized a two-day workshop to enhance Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) through social dialogue at the workplace in Tirana, Albania. The meeting took place on 26-27 April 2018, within the EU-funded project “Economic and Social Affairs Platform” (ESAP), in cooperation with the Albanian Ministry of Economy and Finance and the National Labour Inspectorate. Eighty labour inspectors and representatives of the social partners examined how the functioning of enterprise-based OSH committees in the construction sector should be improved.

News | 30 July 2018

©Gent Shkullaku/AFP 

The OSH committees are bipartite bodies composed of Workers’ and Employers’ organization representatives established at the workplace.  They work to achieve and maintain robust OSH conditions and environment at enterprise level.

In Albania, the construction sector is characterized by a high level of work accidents most of which would be possible to prevent with a proper level of safety and awareness. Informal employment is abundant, about 30% of workers held informal jobs in 2016.  Informal workers are not protected by OSH legislation and the lack of regulation increases the risk of work accidents for them. 

The ESAP project selected the construction sector as one of the most precarious ones in Albania in terms of OSH. The Albanian Labor Inspectorate launched an OSH campaign in the sector with an aim to mitigate the risks that informal employment implies. ILO assisted in the design and preparation of the campaign, including training of 35 labor inspectors, development of campaign material and provision of evaluation and monitoring tools which were integrated into the Albanian online inspection portal. According to Mr Arben Seferi, Director General of the Labour Inspectorate, the new inspection tool will significantly improve the performance of inspectors.

The National Labor Inspectorate is a Law enforcement institution in Albania reporting to the Ministry of Finance and Economy also in charge of labor issues. With around 100 labor inspectors working in various offices all over the country, the Labor Inspectorate is both short-staffed but also short-skilled to carry out all the responsibilities assigned to it by law, working conditions and Occupational Safety and Health being some of them. The Economic and Social Affairs Platform in the Western Balkans facilitates networking with similar institutions in the sub-region to exchange and benefit from the experience of peers.