The other day, the government announced the National Occupational Safety Policy (MNP) for the period 2024-2027 in order to improve working conditions and prevent work accidents and occupational diseases.
László Miskerithe labor protection expert of the LIGA Trade Unions, highlighted to the portal regarding the timing of the MNP, that its preparation is an EU expectation, and although the last one was until 2022, the current one only covers the period between 2024-2027, while according to the original idea, it should cover five years draft.
A tragedy every five days
A member of the National Occupational Safety and Health Commission (OMB) said that the draft was sent out, that it was seen and commented on by both the employer and the employee side, and that the unified position was communicated to the competent Ministry of National Economy.
According to László Miskéri, the new occupational health and safety policy sounds really good and the goals and how important it is to create a work environment that does not endanger health, however, from a practical point of view, the employees’ side of the OMB does not see the implementation of this very well.
He also recalled that although the Commission is made up of three parties, in addition to the presenting government, employers and employees, the insights of experts delegated by advocates are often not reflected in the legislation, this also happened in connection with the new occupational health and safety policy.
He also warned that the document for the period between 2024-2027 did not include those employee claims that were not fulfilled in the previous cycle either. He called the creation of an independent accident insurance industry one of the most important. This was not implemented between 2017 and 2022, and then it was simply left out of the new policy.
According to data accepted by the government, the costs of accidents at work amounted to HUF 355 billion in 2022 alone, however, according to László Miskéri, in reality these cases burden the national economy with multiples of this amount.
In connection with tragic reports, he drew attention to the fact that
Since 2012, the number of workplace accidents has increased continuously,
and this dramatic trend was only stopped by the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2019. At the same time, based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Department of the Ministry of National Economy, the rate of unfortunate incidents began to increase again. (As our paper also wrote: the personnel of the labor protection authority has undergone such a downsizing that the office almost only exists on paper.)
Due to the lack of specifics and those responsible, as well as the increasingly drastic data, the employee side also called for a revision of the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health, which
a rather negative response was received from the government side.
They simply changed the relevant labor protection law.
An unexpected answer
While the National Occupational Safety and Health Committee was able to participate in the establishment, evaluation and review of the national policy of occupational safety and the annual measures and schedules for its implementation within the framework of its interest-conciliation activity regarding health-free and safe work, from now on it can only participate in its establishment and evaluation.
This took the wind out of the sails
László Miskéri referred to how
the government has practically demoted the Commission whose declared task is to protect the healthy working environment of employees, to put it more drastically: to avoid tragedies.
And the situation is further aggravated by the fact that, at the urging of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the government abolished the mandatory nature of medical fitness for work examinations.