The health and safety situation of workers in Lithuanian construction sites requires real changes: in many companies, the required attention and training is still only a formality in order to meet the minimum requirements.
Lithuania still lags behind advanced European Union countries in terms of employee safety and employee health care, although the same European Council directive (89/654/EEC) has been implemented in Lithuania and other EU countries. in 2022 There were 33 fatal accidents and 140 serious injuries in Lithuania
"Too little attention is paid to the health of workers at the construction site, it is usually limited to health checks and insurance. Today's occupational safety training is largely formal and limited to information, without providing the necessary competencies. Most likely, this is caused by the general imperfection of the work system and the lack of competencies of employees and their managers. Employers, work safety training and consulting organizations are missing more precise legal acts that determine the minimum requirements for work safety at the construction site. Therefore, we must take the necessary steps that would make a real change and develop the occupational safety and health competencies of employees", says Dalius Gedvilas, president of the Lithuanian Construction Association (LCA).
In order to change the situation in Lithuania, on March 9 of this year In the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, a conference organized by LCA and Seimas member Jonas Varkalis "Every person on the construction site - with work safety competence" took place. The aim of the conference was to discuss the current situation of workers' safety and health at construction sites with all responsible institutions of education and social affairs together with legislators, employers and training institutions, to decide on the necessary changes and actions to achieve them.
The result of the conference is a signed resolution on 10 actions, the implementation of which would achieve the necessary goal - every person on the construction site would work with work safety competence. The resolution was signed by the LCA, Seimas member Jonas Varkalys, the Social Affairs and Labor Committee of the Seimas, the State Labor Inspectorate of the Republic of Lithuania and the Center for the Development of Qualifications and Vocational Training.
"Unfortunate and fatal accidents at work are a great pain and loss for both the family and the employer. Although modern labor law and European directives apply in Lithuania, we still do not ensure that the workplace is safe for everyone. This happens due to lack of knowledge and training and development of practical skills. We have set goals to change the existing statistics. This year, we will create a procedure for how specifically the customer is responsible for the safety and health of the works, and how much the construction contractor is responsible for. We will also try to ensure that contractors do not compete at the expense of work safety during construction public procurement for clients," J. Varkalys said at the conference.
10 actions aimed at improving the health and safety of workers in Lithuania:
1. Until 2023 April 15 to form a working group from representatives of the Ministry of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of the Republic of Lithuania, the State Labor Inspectorate under the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, the Association of Lithuanian Builders, trade unions to resolve the issues presented in this Resolution and submit conclusions to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania until 2023 June 23;
2. To achieve that by 2023 December 31 amendments to legal acts would be prepared, eliminating the conditions for competition in public procurement and private projects in the account of work safety and health;
3. To specify the customer's responsibility for the safety and health of works, when implementing construction projects;
4. Unify the conditions of work safety and health training - theory and practice - approve new work safety and health informal training programs (modules) and publish them in the AIKOS register with codes;
5. Unify and clarify the current procedure for accreditation of training and assessment institutions. Include VDI representatives in the accreditation;
6. Establish a uniform form of work safety and health certificates, their validity and periodicity of renewal of training and assessment;
7. Determine the procedure for registering issued work safety and health certificates (assessment results) in the unified register and using the results;
8. Link assessment results (competencies) with employee control systems at the construction site;
9. Review and supplement the obligations and responsibilities to the employee and obligations to the employer regarding employees trained and evaluated by accredited institutions in the Law on Employee Safety and Health of the Republic of Lithuania;
10. Achieve that on the agenda of the Social Affairs and Labor Committee of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania by June 31 of this year the issue of occupational safety and health situation in the country and possible measures to improve it would be included.