The APEC Project "Building a Culture of Prevention on OSH in APEC Economies" was initiated and presented by Russia during the 41st Human Resources Development Working Group Meeting in Nha Trang in February and was endorsed by all APEC economies.
This project in the format of the Seminar was held on April 12, 2017 within the framework of the III Russian Health and Safety Week (April 10-14, Sochi) and opened by Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation Mr. Grigoriy Lekarev.
Introductory remarks were made byMr. Qiu Xiaoping, Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Security of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Holomisa, Deputy Minister of Labor of the Republic of South Africa (as a representative of BRICS countries) and Ms. Leppink, Chief of the Labor Administration, Labor Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch, International Labor Organization (ILO).
The discussion of OSH issues was held within three sessions:
- national strategies to promote a prevention culture (experts discussed mechanisms, systems and models, which exist on the state level to support the development of safety culture);
- education for a culture of prevention (integration of educational programs to foster knowledge of and teach the working population the safety culture);
- towards a corporate prevention culture (the purpose of this session is to involve business and professional communities in a dialogue on OSH).
Representatives of Russia, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Korea, experts of ILO and ISSA, as well as representatives of scientific and business communities took part in this project.
"Occupational safety and health is a key question not only for the Russian Federation but also for the whole Asia-Pacific region" – noted the Deputy Minister Mr. Lekarev. "Even during the Russian presidency in APEC in 2012 this issue was a subject of attention and it was reflected in the final documents of the presidency."
"Building a Culture of Prevention on OSH, preserving the health of workers, reducing the economic losses of employers due to unsafe working conditions - these are important elements of modern government policy in the social and labour sphere," - he said.
Russia is constantly working to ratify the conventions of the International Labor Organization. The ILO Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176) was ratified in 2013, the ILO Occupational Cancer Convention, 1974 (Convention No. 139 concerning Prevention and Control of Occupational Hazards caused by Carcinogenic Substances and Agents) was ratified in 2017. The Russian Federation is currently working on preparation for ratification of the ILO Safety and Health in Construction Convention, 1988 (No. 167).
Mrs. Regina Azizova, Project Overseer, Deputy Director of the Department of Legal and International Affairs noted the importance of OSH issues in APEC forum underlining that this topic was discussed during the last APEC Human Recourses Development Ministerial Meeting in 2014 and suggested to include OSH issues to the agenda of the next Ministerial Meeting which will be held in Papua New Guinea in 2018.
Mrs. Azizova also expressed her gratitude to the APEC economies for supporting Russian self-funded project "Building a Culture of Prevention on OSH in APEC Economies".