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Georgia: New law on labour safety lacks statutes on workers’ rights due to narrow definition of safety

Author: Corina Ajder, Human Rights Watch, Published on: 25 February 2019

"A narrow definition of safety harms workers in Georgia", 22 February 2019

Georgia’s newly adopted law on labour safety is lacking statutes on workers’ rights due a narrow definition of safety — working hours, overtime payment, and required breaks are still not sufficiently regulated. Due to such weak edicts, worker fatalities are still on the rise...Inspectors can check, for instance, whether the ventilation system in a mine works, but not whether working hours are reasonable and that workers get adequate rest. They can check whether the brakes of a train work, but not whether the pressure to meet production targets is so high that workers are forced to take risks...A study funded by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation estimated that the number of deaths while at work in Georgia has increased by 74% since 2006. Fifty-nine workers died at work in 2018, according to the Public Defender’s Office, a state body that monitors human rights in Georgia...

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