Participants of All-Russia OSH Week Discuss International Labour Inspection and OSH Challenges and Solutions

Day one of the All-Russia OSH Week-2017 featured a conference of the Regional Alliance of Labour Inspections (RALI) of CIS and Mongolia. The participants discussed their countries' best practices of state supervision and control, including those in the OSH sphere.

Comment | 10 April 2017
"It's a great honour for me to open this conference," said Vsevolod Vukolov, Head of the Russian Federal Service for Labour and Employment. "It addresses the real challenges that we are facing today, and the more we share our lessons learned and effective solutions, the sooner we will achieve our key objective of reducing the number of deaths and injuries in the workplace. Over the past 5 years, the rate of occupational accidents has dropped by nearly 15% in Russia, and I hope that our efforts will continue to bring good results. In this context, it is particularly important to improve the quality of supervision ... "

The conference speakers and participants agreed that any efforts to improve the legislative framework and project implementation must be based on active tripartite engagement to ensure effective coordination of important government decisions among the social partners. Such coordination is essential to ensure adequate implementation of these decisions. As to the role of labour inspectors in this dialogue, they should be able to bring the situation 'in the field' to the attention of policymakers.

Nancy Leppink: "Investing in OSH Is Worthwhile"

"Underinvestment is the most urgent issue on the OSH agenda," said Nancy Leppink, Chief of Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and OSH Branch at the ILO Office in Geneva. She stressed the inverse correlation, observed by the global community of labour inspectors, between investment in OSH and the rates of workplace injuries and deaths. In addition to this, underinvestment in OSH is associated with the high cost of diseases and accidents and employer losses from employee disability, absenteeism, etc. Therefore, according to Nancy Leppink, one needs to seriously consider the choice between investing in OSH and investing in other aspects of company operation.

She also emphasised the behavioural factors influencing the effectiveness of labour inspections: "Penalties far from always lead to positive changes. It is also necessary to motivate employers and employees and facilitate negotiations. A tripartite engagement (government, employers and workers) is exactly what can produce the greatest effect in finding solutions which benefit everyone."

Valery Korzh: "Let Us Make Russian Labour Inspection Even Smarter"

"One of the main strategic goals for the Russian Ministry of Labour and Social Protection is to preserve the human capital," said Valery Korzh, Head of Labour Conditions and OSH Department at the Ministry. According to Valery Korzh, the key approach to achieving this goal is a consistent integration of legal norms helping the labour inspection to switch from the outdated, Soviet-era mode of reacting to incidents to a new mode of working to prevent them.