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28 APRIL 2004
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS' MEMORIAL DAY


LTUC: 28 APRIL IN LITHUANIA

Lithuanian Trade union Confederation annually commemorates April 28. A round table meeting is planned this year. Considering the threatening statistics, unions are anxious to work together with the State Labour Inspection and employers improving the situation of employees. During the meeting where representatives from the Inspection and employers' organisations are going to participate, it will be discussed how to assure safe working places and to improve union representation in local labour safety committees and national Labour Safety and Security tripartite bodies. LTUC will suggest organising joint labour safety and security seminars for employees. Here is some brief information about the situation on injuries at workplaces in Lithuania and activities of our Confederation.

28 April, 2004 in Lithuania

Lithuanian Trade union Confederation annually commemorates April 28. A round table meeting is planned this year. Considering the threatening statistics, unions are anxious to work together with the State Labour Inspection and employers improving the situation of employees. During the meeting where representatives from the Inspection and employers' organisations are going to participate, it will be discussed how to assure safe working places and to improve union representation in local labour safety committees and national Labour Safety and Security tripartite bodies. LTUC will suggest organising joint labour safety and security seminars for employees.

Background Information

According officials of the Lithuanian State Labour Inspection, fatal accidents at workplaces has increased by one fifth in 2003. Having undertaken 19 thousand inspections and investigated 4222 accidents, officials reported a 20 percent increase in comparison with figures in 2002. In some economic sectors, this number increased by 30 percent.

In 2003, there were 2486 accidents registered in Lithuania. Besides, 1736 accidents happened on the way to/from workplaces. Out of these, there were 89 fatal accidents. 2244 employees were slightly injured, 150 people had serious injuries. This number might increase because there are 28 fatal cases yet to be investigated. In 2002, 80 people were injured to death at their workplaces.

The majority of injured or dead employees were men from 20 to 60 years. Out of 86 fatal accidents, more than a half happened to male employees from 30 to 50 years. In 2003, 3 women were killed and 676 were slightly injured.

Most often fatal and heavy injuries took place in transport, agriculture and forestry sectors. The number of injured employees occupied in building and manufacturing industries has not decreased either. Unfortunately, nearly one third of injured employees was found not sober.

According to statistics, the most dangerous occupations are among drivers and operators of mobile equipment. In 2003, 24 of these employees were victims of fatal accidents. Another 11 employees were occupied in metal and machinery industry. 15 employees died working with poisonous materials.

The majority of killed people were blue-collar employees. Nevertheless, 7 directors or main managers suffered from fatal accidents.

According to the principal inspector, employers should provide permanent inspections at workplaces and eliminate all possible hazards/risks. It was observed that many enterprises failed to use measures to secure safe conditions. He emphasised nearly half of all fatal accidents happened because of lack of education and instructions.

This year there were 12 fatal accidents at workplaces. 17 employees were seriously injured. These cases are still being investigated. The principal inspector stressed that the employers did not initiate efficient labour safety and security measures. Trying to secure efficient prevention measures, labour inspectors are recommended to fine employers. Special attention should go to rendering overtime illegal.

Giedre Lelyte LTUCCE
Tel.: +3705-2611079 Fax: +3705-2124788
Mob: +370-69905363 Email: giedrele@mail.lt www.profsajunga.lt

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