On April 28, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia (CTU) organized a panel discussion entitled “World Day for Safety and Health at Work”. The International Labor Organization also commemorates April 28 as a day of remembrance for workers who died at work.
The speakers of the discussion were Ruben Sargsyan, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Igit Hakobyan, Head of the Labor Legislation Control Department of the RA Health and Labor Inspection Body, Nver Sargsyan, Program Coordinator of the International Labor Organization, Laura Demirchyan, Head of the Department for the Protection of Labor and Social Rights of the CTUA. The discussion was moderated by ELen Manaseryan, President of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia.
During the meeting, the existing problems and legislative gaps were discussed. The situation related to accidents at work was presented. The speakers noted that healthy and safe working conditions are in the interests not only of employees, but also of employers.
Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Ruben Sargsyan noted that the ministry is doing a lot of work aimed at solving problems related to labor relations within the framework of the Labor Code.
In her speech, President of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia Elen Manaseryan stressed the importance of social partnership in the process of solving existing problems.
Head of the Labor Legislation Control Department of the RA Health and Labor Inspection Body Igit Hakobyan once again reminded that in the Republic of Armenia a person, his life and health are the highest value, and through labor legislation and documents containing other norms, measures must be taken to protect labor rights of the workers and the protection of his freedoms. Igit Hakobyan also noted that the employer is responsible for this in accordance with the norms established by the state.
Program Coordinator of the International Labor Organization Nver Sargsyan reminded the participants about the collapse of Rana Plaza in the People's Republic of Bangladesh. "This incident, which resulted in a lot of casualties, was also related to security issues." Nver Sargsyan also mentioned that unhealthy and unsafe working conditions cause about 2.5 million deaths every year. Elen Manaseryan recalled the tragic incident that occurred in 2022 in the Surmalu trade center in Yerevan, which was also caused by a violation of safety regulations at the workplace.
In continuation of this topic, the head of the department for the protection of labor and social rights of the CTUA Laura Demirchyan, presented data according to which in 2021 in the Republic of Armenia, due to violations of labor safety standards, there were 21 accidents at work with 4 deaths. As of 2022, the number of people with disabilities, registered in connection with disability, amounted to 1389 people.
Speaking about healthy and safe working conditions, Elen Manaseryan touched upon the problems of the agricultural sector, considering this sector to be strategic. The CTUA President raised the issue of pesticides, which threaten the health of not only those involved in agriculture, but also those who consume food. She also spoke about the problems of citizens involved in agriculture in the border areas of the Republic of Armenia, where the human right to life is threatened during the performance of work.
The discussion continued in the format of questions and answers, where a number of questions were raised by the participants, the issue of revising labor protection standards, the availability of information to the population, and the need to create green jobs were also highlighted.