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Health and safety in Russia moving towards prevention and safety culture

6 May 2019
Health and safety in Russia moving towards prevention and safety culture

On 22–26 April 2019 Polyus took part in Russian Health and Safety Week at Sochi’s Main Media Center.

During the Health and Safety: Motivating and Engaging Employees and Management session, Roman Dertinov, Director for HSE&SD at Polyus, discussed the role of managers as the main driving force behind each facility’s performance, their direct involvement in day-to-day operations being the yardstick for their leadership qualities. There was a heated debate around non-financial motivation for employees at different levels and for contractors to follow safety rules.

Russian Health and Safety Week is a global forum discussing the latest trends and opportunities to advance occupational health and safety practices, promote safe working conditions and protect health. As well as Russian experts, the event attracts delegates from BRICS and countries in the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe, the International Labour Organization and other well-established entities.

In 2019, over 10,000 health and safety specialists convened for the event, including representatives of Russian government agencies, international experts, leading scientists, heads of large Russian and foreign industrial corporations, and members of trade unions and public organizations.

The week began with a strategic plenary session called Future of Health and Safety in Russia — Prevention and Safety Culture. In recent years, Russia has seen a sustained decline in workplace accidents, with the number of fatal incidents dropping by more than half, from 4,600 to 1,600 per year in the past 12 years (2007–2018).

At the same time, as Maxim Topilin, Russia’s Minister of Labour and Social Protection, noted, the same health and safety approaches have been in use for the past 10–15 years — and are long overdue for change.

The year 2019 marks the centenary of the International Labour Organization (ILO). During the plenary session, Guy Ryder, Director-General of ILO, talked about new health and safety risks and about creating flexible health and safety management systems based on emerging risks.

Forum participants discussed health and safety issues and practical ways to address them, as well as the regulatory framework and national and international best practices.