Armenia marks World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2022

On 3 May 2022, the Health and Labour Inspection Body (HLIB) of the Republic of Armenia observed the annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work with the support of the ILO. In 2022, World Day is focused on promoting the creation of a Preventative Safety and Health Culture through social dialogue.

News | 03 May 2022
Around 30 representatives of the ILO constituents – Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia, the Republican Union of Employers of Armenia, the Health and Labour Inspection Body (HLIB) of the Republic of Armenia, and Inspection Bodies Coordination Bureau (IBCB) under the Prime Minister’s Office participated in the meeting.

The Director of the ILO DWT/CO for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Olga Koulaeva, joined the event online. On behalf of the  Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Deputy Minister Ruben Sargsyan participated in the event, as well as the Head of Inspection Bodies Coordination Bureau (IBCB), Artur Asoyan,  and other representatives of the Social Partners, business community and media.

The Director of the ILO DWT/CO for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Olga Koulaeva, greeted the Minister and Social Partners on behalf of the ILO on World Day for Safety and Health and the Labour Day. She had a brief overview of the idea of observation of the Day, mentioning that first it is devoted, not only to the memory of victims of occupational accidents and diseases, but also to highlight that those work-related accidents and diseases could be prevented. She highlighted the main objectives of the observation of the day: prevention of occupational accidents and diseases; promotion of a preventative safety and health culture; and raising of awareness and international attention to the magnitude of the issue. At this point, Koulaeva stressed that while the COVID-19 Pandemic since the first three cases were detected in 30 December 2019 caused, on average, the death of 2.7 million people per year (about 6.2 million until 26 April 2022), work kills, every year, around 2.9 million workers. In conclusion, she underlined the role of the social dialogue and ensured ILO’s willingness to support the improvement of the system of Safety and Health at the work in Armenia.

In his opening statement, Ruben Sargsyan, Deputy Minister highlighted the role of the Safety and Health at Work, defining it as the basis for decent work and mentioned that OSH is one of the priorities of the Government of RA and the social partnership.

Hakob Avagyan, Head of Health and Labour Inspection Body, had an introduction speech and indicated the role of the social partnership in the facilitation of an enhanced and proper capacitated labour inspection system in Armenia.

During the Workshop HLIB provided a presentation on implemented awareness-raising activities in Yerevan and regions. HLIB emphasized the important role of social partners in reaching compliance with the law. It was also provided information about the most common violations in the sphere of Labour Law.

Mr. Gagik Makaryan, President of the RUEA, noted that safe and healthy work environment is achievable, however, it can only be achieved in close cooperation between labour market institutions and as a result of constructive social dialogue.

Mr. Eduard Tumasyan, Vice President of CTUA, presented the challenges workers face in result of poor health and safety conditions at work. He has emphasized the need for legal and administrative reforms to achieve safety and health at work.

Antonio Santos, Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and OSH Specialist of ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, made a presentation on “Enhancing social dialogue towards a culture of safety and health”. He gave a brief description of the observation of the World Day for Safety and Health at work, represented the main objectives of the day and the relevance of Social Dialogue on OSH, and also demonstrated typologies of Social Dialog and the ways of promoting a preventative OSH culture through Social Dialogue.

Valkyrie Hanson, ILO Technical Specialist for Strategic Compliance (LABADMIN/OSH), presented the concept of Strategic Compliance for labour inspectors and mentioned good practices from other countries which Armenian stakeholders may learn from and apply when designing a strategic compliance plan for Armenia.

The event served as an awareness-building day for HLIB, amplified by the presence of media representatives during the event.

The event was organized with financial support  of the ILO development cooperation Project “Promoting Implementation of Labour Rights in Armenia Together” (PILRAT).