Call for the authorised labour inspectorate to protect workers in the textile industry from extremely high temperatures 29 June 2017
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia has publically called for the authorised labour inspectorate to go on field and undertake measures to protect textile workers from extremely high temperatures. Having in mind that in the past few days temperatures in Macedonia have been reaching up to 40ᵒC, workers in textile, leather and shoe manufacturing industries have been exposed to severe risks and dangers to their health. The situation in factories is alarming and employees have been collapsing due to the high temperatures. According to the Law on Safety and Health at Work and the Rulebook on the method of drafting safety statement, its contents, as well as data required for risk assessment, employers are obliged to make risk assessment for each job position separately, in conditions of extremely high temperatures, and to undertake all necessary measures to prevent unwanted consequences to the health of professionally exposed workers.
When assessing the risk for each recognized or identified threat or danger at the workplace and the working environment, it is necessary to pay special attention to the possible threat to the health of vulnerable groups such as women, young workers, older workers and workers who have job positions of increased risk or have special needs (disabled workers, workers with existing health issues, etc.). Threats and harmful effects, could also be recognized as harmful effects of microclimate factors, extremely high and low temperatures, humidity and speed of air flow. According to the Law on Labour Inspection, an inspector doing supervision is authorised to enter the premises of the employer without prior notice and regardless of the working hours of the employer, at any time of day and night.
Due to the stated reasons, we call for the State Labour Inspectorate to send its regional units on field to visit textile, leather and shoe factories in order to identify possible violations of regulations on safety and health at work and to duly fine employers who may have done so, for the purpose of protecting the health of workers in the stated industries in conditions of extremely high temperatures.