Tbilisi Mayor Discusses Labor Safety

Last week, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze met with construction companies to discuss the issue of labor safety in Georgia’s capital city.

In February of this year, Parliament adopted amendments to the Georgian law on labor safety. The amendments will come into force on September 1, 2019. The original law on labor safety was passed in March 2018, but only applied to 11 categories of jobs – those considered particularly dangerous and potentially harmful. The civil society sector heavily criticized the narrow scope of the law. The new amendments will expand the law to apply to all jobs across the Georgian economy.

The amendments define labor safety regulations and general principles of preventive measures in the workplace. The legislation describes and mandates a system of effective mechanisms of enforcement and inspection. The amendments expand the mandate of the labor inspectorate, and the supervisory body is authorized to check any workplace without prior warning and at any time, to ensure the full implementation and application of labor safety norms.

In discussions last week, Kaladze reminded construction companies that Tbilisi city hall will begin sending out inspectors to monitor labor conditions starting July 1. The working meeting was also attended by Deputy Mayors of Tbilisi, representatives of the Parliament of Georgia, namely MP Dimitri Tskitishvili, representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs, Tamuna Barkalaia, and the Business Ombudsman, Irakli Lekvinadze. A conversation emerged between the public sector representatives and the construction companies, sharing concerns and problems about the new regulations’ effect on the construction industry.

After the working meeting, Kaladze told reporters, “The safety of people employed at construction sites is very important, which we have discussed multiple times. To this end, we have tightened regulations to ensure that people employed at construction sites are safe. There have recently been a number of changes in the law. Today, we had a meeting with representatives of the construction sector. Every single one of them should understand how important the safety and security of people are. We have seen cases where helmets are not worn at construction sites or workers do not use appropriate protective harnesses while working on high floors. All this must be done with a supervisor who will control such matters related to safety. Fines alone are not the solution; since we tightened regulations, the number of fatalities has been reduced. This does not mean that we have achieved the desired outcome. During today's meeting, we heard comments and opinions from [the construction sector]. The central government, the Parliament, the business ombudsman is also involved in the process and all of us together, with our united coordination, will solve this problem.”

By Samantha Guthrie

Image source: Tbilisi City Hall

20 June 2019 18:29