Labor Inspection: Safety Norms Violated in 50 Checked Enterprises

From August 1 to present, labor safety conditions have been checked in up to 50 enterprises which carry out severe, harmful and hazardous works. In all 50, breaches of labor safety norms were revealed.

The information was released by the Labor Inspection Department under the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, which says that they issued warnings and called on the enterprises to eliminate the shortcomings. However, in the places where the problems remained unsolved, the administrative penalty was used and the enterprises were fined.

The main violations revealed in the enterprises were a lack of microclimate parameters and noise measuring, improper maintenance of special equipment and absence of risk prevention and assessment of potential risks.

In addition, in some enterprises, the noise level was found to be high enough to potentially lead to loss of hearing and serious physical exhaustion in employees. Some workplaces had no protective barriers to prevent injury to workers and, in other cases, the electrical system was faulty. Employee behavior was also a worrying factor.

“In the majority of the inspected enterprises, there was no responsible person allocated to test the employees for alcohol or drug consumption,” the department noted.

In one case, pregnant women were employed to supervise waste management (including hazardous waste) and the enterprise had no plan of action or evacuation for emergencies.

The inspection of enterprises containing hazardous threats started from the first of August, allowing inspectors to freely enter an enterprise without preliminary warning.

Georgian Parliament adopted a law on Labor Safety, with the third and final reading on March 7, 2018.

According to the new version of the labor safety law, sanctions for the breach of safety norms were tightened, and fines were increased from 100 to 50,000 GEL.

However, the requirements of the law only cover 11 areas of severe, harmful and dangerous jobs. Human rights defenders say the law is discriminatory as it does not cover all jobs.

According to the law, the sanctions on breach of labor safety can be one of three types: Non-existent, substantial and critical.

The sanctions on all three types of violations are based on how much annual turnover the enterprise has.

By Thea Morrison

11 October 2018 17:13