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25/04/2013

Macedonia looks strategically

Tim Tregenza

Mavroro, a beautiful town in the Macedonian mountains, hosted the International Conference on National OSH Strategies during the 25-28 April 2013. The conference, organised by the Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association, was supported by EU-OSHA, the Macedonian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Macedonian State Labour Inspectorate, the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia, the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Macedonia, and the Organisation of Employers in Macedonia. 

The conference showed the benefits of the strong EU-OSHA focal point network, with interventions from Gavin Lonergan (HSA Ireland), Eduard Brunner (SECO Switzerland), Frank Dehasque (Federal Public Service Employment Belgium), and Frosina Djino (State Labour Inspectorate Albania) as well as contributions from Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, Croatia, Republic of Srpska, Turkey, Serbia, Norway, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

 

Throughout the conference, experiences in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of occupational safety and health strategies were examined, with key messages and principles extracted.

 

Strategies have to be specific to the State, region, or sector, with no "one-size fits all". While principles can be common, application has to be specific.  It is clear that trategies need the involvement of all stakeholders from the start of the planning process through to the end of the evaluation period. The social partners - unions and employer organisations - and the labour inspectorates are seen as particularly important.

 

Finally, there is a clear need for the occupational safety and health strategy to be holistic in approach and integrated into other policy areas. Health and Safety at Work does not operate in isolation. Many occupational issues have impact or are impacted upon by public health actions, economic initiatives, and environmental approaches to name just a few key policy areas.