All-Russia OSH Week 2018 opens with strategic plenary session “OSH: Progress and Challenges”

The strategic plenary session “OSH: Progress and Challenges” was a keynote event of the first day of the All-Russia OSH Week 2018.

News | 10 April 2018
Maxim Topilin, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Russia, opened the event. He placed occupational safety and health among key priorities of the public policy.
“A major work is underway to analyse working conditions at production facilities, draft relevant roadmaps, and make amendments to the law as may be necessary to increasingly bring down the time loss and extra cost for employers due to job-related diseases or accidents”, Maxim Topilin said.
The Minister said that the “Promoting Public Employment” state programme will be extended this year to incorporate a new “Safe Work” sub-programme.

“What we are trying to achieve is that employers are increasingly able to self-check compliance with the labour law based on new digital technologies. This will be much more convenient for employers, and will be followed by remote supervision as digital technologies develop further”, he noted.

In his presentation at the plenary session, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA), cited data reported by the International Labour Organization. “Globally, about 2.8 million people die at work every year which is a great tragedy”, he said. “Moreover, less than 15 percent of deaths are caused by accidents while the majority result from health problems. This suggests that more focus should be made on workers’ health”.

Olga Koulaeva, Director of the ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, focused her speech on the situation of young workers on the labour market and on the risks to their safety and health at work. She cited alarming statistics: not-fatal accidents and diseases rate among workers aged 15-24 is 40 per cent higher than among adult workers.
Olga Koulaeva outlined factors that increase youth vulnerability to OSH risks, including their physical and psychological stage of development, lack of work experience, limited awareness of work-related hazards. These factors can lead young workers to accept dangerous tasks or jobs with poor working conditions, particularly in the informal economy, she said.

The 2018 World SafeDay campaign and its slogan “Generation Safe&Healthy” highlights the critical importance of addressing these challenges and improving safety and health for young workers. “Our common task is to ensure safe and healthy future for the younger generation”, Olga Koulaeva concluded.