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Risk assessment and preparing an OHS statement is one of the most current issues and hence causes a special interest in working environments in Macedonia. There are many other issues of safety and health at work and people want to know more – about norms, prescribed standards, risk assessment, the competent institutions, rights and responsibilities of employees.

This was concluded at the seminar "OHS risk assessment in the workplace."  Organizer of the seminar, which was held from 23 to 25 September in Ohrid, was Union of Chemistry, nonmetals and metals of Macedonia. Participants were trade union activists, members of this union, while the lecturer was Inda Savic from CCM.

The law regulates many issues of safety, but there is a need to further upgrading and adaptation to European norms and standards. Each position carries some health risks, although risks are more stressed in some industries, like construction and agriculture, or may be latent and long-lasting, as in the chemical industry.

A special issue is the engagement and the role of Trade unions in working environments. Employees should know that a secure environment not only means preventing of accidents, but it is the sum of all aspects of working conditions.

Education and training are also an important component of any program, and ability to identify risks at work is especially important. Of course, this seminar is in that direction, said Zoran Mironovski, President of SHNM.

Employees must know how to organize and what are their rights and opportunities for action. The introduction of the institution OHS representative is a major step forward, but people need to have insight into the whole scheme of the institutions dealing with this area - trade unions, the Ministry, occupational medicine, and even NGOs.

In Macedonia every year occur from 15 to 20 injuries and deaths and 100 to 150 serious injuries. Even bigger problem is the identification of occupational diseases. It is harder to prove long-term effects of harmful agents, due to changing jobs, introducing new technologies.

However, worldwide, with 200000 deaths at workplace every year, accidents are mostly due to the negligence of employers. Therefore, employers should take effective measures to prevent accidents, injuries at work and occupational diseases, such as work organization, risk assessment at work and preparation of safety statement for each job, as well as regular health checks. The union should certainly be involved and informed of all OHS actions and measures of the employer, because this is one of the key rights of workers - explained the instructor Inda Savic.

ILO Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities - EU FRIEDRICH EBERT STIFTUNG Организацијa на работодавачи на Македонија etuc