Public Defender's Special Statement

The reality when people are daily injured or killed in the workplace is alarming. Yesterday and today the media reported the death of two persons employed in the construction. Earlier, on October 11, the Public Defender responded to a death of a miner in Tkibuli’s Mindeli mine.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 123 people died or injured in the workplace in 2015. This situation indicates that the non-observance of labour safety is the most acute problem in the country and employees suffer serious bodily injuries or are killed in the workplace at least once in 2-3 days. Only an extremely small number of cases is covered by the media, meaning that public is not informed of the majority of such cases.

It must be clearly said that the state is accounted for the abovementioned cases, since no clear and modern labor safety standards have yet been adopted, and no labor inspectorate has been created, which would supervise their implementation in practice. The Public Defender has been demanding creation of labor inspectorate for years, but the recommendation has not been fulfilled so far. The state is actually waiting for the cases when people are harmed or killed and only after that it responds within the criminal legislation. Investigations do not always end with proper results. In 2015, criminal investigation was launched into 108 cases, but it was soon terminated in 42 cases. The number of terminated investigations might be higher today, as more time has passed since the mentioned cases. The state's actions that are not effective cannot be considered sufficient leverage for the prevention of future accidents. The state is obliged to protect the lives and health of employees and for this purpose to immediately create minimal mechanisms - labour inspectorate and modern standards of labor safety.

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