P.O.E.S. – Occupational Health and Safety (Incident and Accident Investigation)

SUBJECT: Health and Safety at Work (Incident and Accident Investigation)
RELATED : a. Law 551/1914 (Government Gazette A’ 11, “On liability for compensation of workers or employees suffering from accidents at work”)
b. AN 1846/1951 (Government Gazette A’ 179, “On Social Insurance”)
c. Law 3850/2010 (Official Gazette A’ 84, “Sanction of the Code of Laws on the health and safety of workers”)
d. IKA Circular no. 45/2010 (“Working Accident”)
e. Under order No. 20911/26-9-2016/YPEKA/SEPE
f. In case No. 397664/4-10-2019/YPEKY/SEPE
the. Our document No. 668/2023
i. Our document No. 1432/2023
i. No. prot. 1656/2023 our document
ya. No. prot. 19/2024 our document
Mr. Minister.
Our Federation constantly monitors and highlights the serious problems that exist at the level of health and safety at work, making targeted remarks and proposals, always under the assumption that OHS in EDs is partially respected, to the point where reasonable questions are raised if it is respected at all.
In the recent past, one of the topics that preoccupied us was that of suicides and accidents in EDs, tragic events to which are added the very serious effects of occupational diseases and syndromes due to psychosocial factors [σχετικό (η)]. We cited facts, recalled facts, raised questions. Verbatim, we mentioned that “military men die in peacetime and in every possible way: on the way to work, during service, from stress, from heart problems, from suicides, from explosions, from being crushed, etc. Even more serious, however , we are not convinced that the Leadership has realized the true magnitude of the problem.” We did not receive an answer, nor did we see anything change.
We were recently contacted by a mother. The mother of one of our many colleagues who were somehow lost. We will not reveal her details for obvious reasons. This mother expressed complaints that should not exist. Why did her child go missing? He still doesn’t know. We had no answer, because we are not competent to answer, but even if we had, we would not be able to utter a word. What can one answer to a mother who is still searching for answers?
It doesn’t matter if her child was “lost” by accident, suicide, or any other factor. It is “lost” that matters. As, it is important that since 2007, the SYA HYPETHA is supposed to be implemented. Likewise, it is important that since 2010, the provisions of the Labor Law have been fully applied to EDs, except for some special exceptions defined by the (otherwise intentionally, in our opinion, general) (e) relative.
These procedures provide for the investigation of the incident/accident, separating it, in fact, into levels of severity. In our case, we are talking about death. The law provides for the improvement of working conditions and adaptation of work to people. A series of medical examinations, a series of controls, institutionalized persons and mechanisms are foreseen. We wonder: Do they exist? Are they observed? We think the answer was given at the Ministry of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Conference [σχετικό (ι)]: it is a more general finding that the law is not respected, because its observance is expensive and we live in a country where money counts a lot, while human life, perhaps, not so much.
In the past, in his attempt to evade SEPE, he had answered a relevant question concerning deaths related to psychosocial factors, that “sudden incidents of a medical nature at work are investigated only if they are linked, by a cause-effect relationship, with violent external events (regardless of the physical condition of the victims) that occurred during the performance of work – according to the jurisprudence on the definition of an occupational accident”. Is that so?
From the relevant (b) and (d) it follows that the law does not explicitly define which of the accidents are work-related. However, in the conceptual definitions of paragraph 4 of article 8 (b) similar to the term “accident” the definition “a violent incident at work or on the occasion thereof and occupational disease” is given. Additionally, we mention that the relevant (a) refers to “Accident due to a violent incident, occurring to a worker or an employee”, defining the conditions for compensation. Generally, the violent nature of the event is a common point.
So we ask ourselves, is there some criterion that is absent from a death in the ED, whether it comes from an accident, from suicide, or from an occupational disease, so that it is not labeled “violent”? The question is completed as follows: how many of the deaths that have taken place in the EDs (due to service or not) have been investigated by the Labor Inspectorate? And if they have all been investigated, why has this mother still not received answers?
Mr. Minister.
Our Federation has repeatedly asked you to order an investigation of the professional satisfaction of the military, under conditions of guaranteeing their anonymity. This is a critical and predictable process related to potential hazards at work. The purpose of such an action is to make it possible for the employer (according to the law) to identify problems in the workplace. However, the Ministry stubbornly refuses, despite the fact that constant assurances that all is well in the ED are belied by facts and reality. However, we are sure that many of the deaths would have been avoided if the Leadership was ready to face the storms it has to reap, as a result of the fruits it has sown, especially in recent years. And if the sowing is due to previous Administrations, this does not affect the time when the fruits ripen.
In addition, we remind you that with (g) we also requested statistics regarding deaths in EDs over the last 30 years, which, unfortunately, are kept as top secret. Although the Service is required by law to disclose occupational hazards to its employees, it stubbornly refuses to do so.
So, we will bring back some of the many questions we have asked from time to time, always under the heavy shadow of the question “if the law is respected” [σχετικά (θ), (ι) και (ια)] and, in fact, enriching them:

How many deaths were actually and thoroughly investigated as to their true causes?
How many deaths occurred within and/or because of the Service?
How many executive suicides have been recorded and attributed?
What is the increase in heart disease and other health symptoms in the ED over time?
Where is all of the above attributed? What is the improvement that came from the staff’s processing of the relevant statistics in order to establish the degree of improvement in working conditions?
Why is there no initiative taken to expand the list of occupational diseases by adding occupational stress and related syndromes, aiding (and straining) the efforts of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security?
Why aren’t actions taken to improve the working environment in the EDs, so as to eliminate its toxicity, which is transferred even to the homes of the executives, a fact that widens the “debt of the Service”?
Is the number of Safety Technicians and Occupational Physicians in the ED sufficient?

However, we saved the most important question for last: why hasn’t this mother received an answer yet? Why doesn’t she know the reasons why she lost her child? The State owes an answer, just as it must take measures so that no other mother, father, brother/sister finds herself in the same position again.
The co-competent Ministry of Labor and Social Security is requested to take into account the above in view of improvements in the existing framework.
We remain at your disposal for any clarification or information.
Messrs. Members of the Hellenic Parliament, to whom this is communicated, are requested to highlight the matter, through parliamentary control.

Read the original at Defence247.gr

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