Occupational Health and Safety at work: an added value for companies

Feb 24, 2014

Workers at a shoe factory in Shkoder

Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases globally. Many of these resulting in extended absence from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year.

In the frame of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) component of the “Local Level Responses to the Youth Employment Challenge”, training on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards and procedures was conducted by CSR leading Albanian companies. The training targeted mainly SME managers, engineers and workers working with health and safety issues. In addition, several business associations and chamber of commerce attended the training.

An overview of the main concepts and experiences from top companies applying safety standards were presented by international expertize. These cases reflected why OHS entails an added value for companies and how its adoption increases the chances to become sub-contractor of larger companies. A company that precedes risks and mitigates accidents at work through integrating measures is a company with an added value and increased competitiveness compared to others.

More than 35 participating SMEs followed presentations from local experiences by three Albanian companies, Antea Cement, Intracom-Telecom Albania and Vodafone Albania leaders in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility and Occupational Health and Safety measures. Representatives from Intracom-Telecom Albania, presented the case of Intracom and how the company has integrated OHS standards into their management system. Representatives from ANTEA Cement focused on the specifics of health and safety at work for the heavy industry and their usage as well as explained how OHS is seen as a pre-condition for their contractors. Vodafone Albania concluded the training session expressing the need for further awareness raising among companies while presenting their promotion and awareness raising activities among its employees and specifically among their sub-contractors in the field of OHS.
This training was organized in collaboration with the Albanian CSR Network and the Urban Research Institute.

To create an enabling environment for the promotion of CSR, the Government of Albania with the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship (MEDTE), with the support of UNDP, has developed a National Action Plan on CSR. UNDP’s support for the promotion of the CSR agenda in Albania has been aligned to the priorities and activities outlined in the National Action Plan. This component falls under the Swiss Cooperation (SDC) funded project “Local Level Responses to the Youth Employment Challenge”.

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