At the sitting held on 26 December, the members of the Committee on Labour, Social Issues, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction considered the Bill on Occupational Health and Safety in principle.
The Bill was presented by State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Bojana Stanic and acting director of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration Marina Furtula.
The Law on Occupational Health and Safety currently in force was passed in 2005 and the significant economic and social change that happened in the intervening time make it imperative bring the regulations up to EU standards and pass a new law. The current Law was amended and modified on two occasions to eliminate the flaws noted in its application viz. introduction of measures to improve the health and safety in the workplace. The amendments and modifications primarily concerned raising the level of competence of the persons in charge of health and safety in the workplace with employers in high-risk jobs, introducing periodical renewals of qualifications and setting a five-year expiration date to the licences issued. The most frequent problems concerned risk assessment procedure and adoption of risk assessment documents, signing of agreements on joint implementation of work health and safety measures when two employers share the same workspace, inadequate communication of the provisions of directives concerning the organization of work health and safety duties, information and cooperation with the employees. A new institute also needed to be included in the employee protection regime viz. improved health protection and expansion of the circle of people who enjoy this protection.
The Bill contains better legislative solutions and will create the conditions for a safer and healthier workplace that will ensure the employees’ productivity until retirement. Work health and safety boosts productivity in the workplace, stimulates economic growth, employment and functioning of the labour market, which in turn has a positive impact on the economy. The adoption and implementation of the Bill will provide the conditions for a higher degree of health and safety in the workplace and better working conditions in order to prevent work injuries and occupational or related illnesses.
Following a discussion the Committee accepted the Bill on Occupational Health and Safety in principle.
The Committee went on to accept the proposal of the Working Group for civic petitions and forwarded them to the competent institutions for further processing.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairperson Milanka Jevtovic Vukojicic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Josip Broz, Prim. Dr Branimir Rancic, Gorica Gajic, Slavica Zivkovic, Radovan Jancic, Prim. Dr Vlado Babic, Dragan Savkic, Aleksandra Majkic and Milena Corilic.