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People Protest Deaths and Injuries in Workplace

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, January 4
(TBILISI)—On December 30, people gathered in front of Parliament building in Tbilisi to protest hundreds of deaths and injuries in workplace in Georgia for years, with Parliament postponing discussions of the work safety draft law.

Protesters demanded tough safety regulations in the workplace and accused the government of “pleasing businesses” at the expense of health and lives of its people.

On December 28, an expert, who was inspecting devices at the construction site in Batumi, fell off the height; he was hospitalized due to the injuries in the head and remains in critical condition.

On December 27, two workers were killed at the construction site in Kutaisi. A few days before on December 21, the media reported that a worker was killed and another one was injured when dismantling a ride in the Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi.

169 people were killed and 350 injured in the workplace in 2013-2016. 18 were killed and 34 injured only in the first half of 2017.

On June 1, 2017 the work safety draft law was initiated in Parliament, though it has been adopted only in the first reading.

“The attitude shows that the labour safety has not yet become a priority on the Government’s agenda,” Georgia’s Public Defender Nino Lomjaria wrote.

The Public Defender called on Parliament of Georgia to advantageously consider the draft law, taking into account the severity of the problem, and take effective measures to protect the life and health of employees.