Lithuania in the limelight with the upcoming presidency
The Republic of Lithuania assumes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July 2013, and to mark this the Director of EU-OSHA, Dr Christa Sedlatschek, visited Vilnius on 14 May to meet with Mrs Algimanta Pabedinskiene, Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania and the main stakeholders in the Lithuanian health and safety system.
In Lithuania it is the Ministry of Social Security and Labour that implements national policy in the area of safety and health at work (together with the Ministry of Health), with the State Labour Inspectorate operating under its auspices.
Until recently, the State Labour Inspectorate also ran the EU-OSHA national focal point in Lithuania but change is in the air with this responsibility passing to TPT (Technikos priežiūros tarnyba ) or Technical Supervision Service. TPT is a public accredited institution for assessing the technical condition of potentially dangerous equipment and is the body for assessing conformance of equipment such as lifts and pressure vessels to relevant regulations and standards.
In addition to meeting Mrs Pabedinskiene, Dr Sedlatschek also met with Prof. Dr. Audrius Bitinas, Vice Minister at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and responsible for health and safety. She then addressed a tripartite national focal point network meeting, outlining the state of occupational safety and health in Europe and stressing the importance of social partner involvement in national activities.
The Director came away from the meeting with a keen sense of the commitment to health and safety in Lithuania, with social partners and health and safety professionals keen to debate on how standards in the workplace can be improved.