Tashkent hosts conference on occupational safety and health.

On May 21-24, Tashkent hosted a conference on occupational safety and health problems organized by the Council of Trade Unions Federation of Uzbekistan.

News | 25 May 2007
Taking part in the conference were parliamentarians, representatives of the women’s committee of Uzbekistan, the Labour and Social Protection Ministry as well as other ministries and agencies, non-governmental organizations, ILO experts and trade unionists from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

According to statistics, 270 million occupational accidents and 160 million occupational diseases are registered in the world annually. The ILO says four percent of the global GDP is lost due accidents and work-related diseases.

The conference chaired by the head of the Council of Trade Unions Federation of Uzbekistan, Dilbar Dzhakhongirova, stated that large-scale reforms on economic and social infrastructure development conducted by President Islam Karimov are aimed at improving living standards and meeting people’s needs and priorities.

The creation of alternative and safe working conditions is a part of such reforms. Article 37 of Uzbekistan’s Constitution says the country has the right to work, to free choice of employment, just and favorable conditions of work and protection against unemployment.

This factor plays an important role in social and economic development of the society. Bad working conditions lead to excessive costs of labour, resources and raw materials. The well-established occupational safety and health system as well as the creation of favourable and comfortable working conditions are economically viable for workers, employers and the country in general.

Uzbekistan conducts large-scale work to improve the OSH system in all economic entities. The Trade Unions Federation of Uzbekistan contributes to this.

As a result of joint measures to upgrade the OSH system, its normative and legal base and increase control over the implementation of labour legislation, the government, employers and trade unions helped reduce officially registered occupational accidents.

“Deputy Labour Minister Bytyrzhan Alimukhamedov informed about the draft Decent Work Country Programme. And we put forward recommendations to ratify a number of Conventions and implement ILO-OSH 2001 – GOST 12.0.230-2007,” senior specialist in occupational safety and health of the ILO Moscow Office Wiking Husberg said. “We also discussed the foreseen Finnish project to support the modernisation of the Uzbek national OSH system and the Korean research project on OSH to improve the collection of statistics on occupational accidents,” he said.

Partakers discussed how to resolve the pressing issues of occupational safety and heath and coordinate efforts of the government, trade unions and labour inspectors to ensure citizens’ right to safe working conditions.

They also exchanged opinions on other countries’ experience and effective measures to be taken to improve occupational safety and health.

“The ILO mission plans to visit Uzbekistan in December to hold a seminar on the national OSH profile, review progress in this area and sign the DWCP, if applicable,” Husberg said.

Uzbekistan ’s national news agency UzA