A tailor-made system for monitoring working conditions for workers engaged in the construction and renovation of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ stadiums has completed the first phase of its implementation. The first round of evaluation visits launched by FIFA and the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) was conducted between 28 April and 23 June at 10 Russia 2018 stadiums undergoing construction and renovation. The goal of the visits was to perform a comprehensive analysis of working conditions and verify that they comply with the requirements of Russian law and international conventions concerning decent working conditions and occupational safety.
“Decent working conditions monitoring system during preparation and staging of mega events is a unique and innovative process for Russia”, the LOC's Head of Sustainability Milana Verkhunova explained. “Monitoring methodology assesses construction companies on their alignment with employment and labour law, working conditions, occupational health and safety, compliance with human rights. Assessment visits are not limited by checking the documents and the construction ground or conducting interviews with the employees, but are also aimed at providing recommendations to the construction companies’ employees responsible for the occupational health and safety. That’s why we hope and expect that the monitoring system will help establishing higher standards for working conditions for the whole construction industry in Russia”.
At the first stage of monitoring, experts from the Klinsky Institute of Labour Protection and Working Conditions, selected by FIFA and the LOC to act as independent experts, conducted two-day visits to all ten tournament stadiums under construction or renovation. The experts used more than 500 indicators to analyse working conditions for approximately 9,000 workers employed at construction sites by 80 construction companies.
The specialists reviewed occupational safety and working condition documentation of general contractors and all subcontractors, examined construction site infrastructure and conducted interviews with construction operatives on their working conditions, wages, bonuses, rights and freedoms. Additional research was conducted with respect to health and safety incidents, labour disputes, strikes and late payment of wages. All construction companies were also asked to fill in self-assessment check-lists before evaluation visits to facilitate a regular compliance review.
Based on the analysis, experts identified key areas for improvement, such as provision of protective equipment, compliance with legal requirements to labour agreements, compliance with labour discipline, working and non-working hours regulations. Nonetheless, the visits showed that many construction companies implemented health and safety internal control, training and communication systems, and provided employees with housing and meals.
“At the first stage, the monitoring system allowed us to identify both best practices and problem areas with respect to ensuring decent working conditions at all World Cup stadiums being built or renovated. This resulted in immediate measures to improve occupational safety, train construction company staff and ensure experience sharing in this area,” explained Andrey Moskvichev, General director of the Klinsky Institute of Labour Protection and Working Conditions.
As a result of each visit experts prepared a brief internal report with key findings and recommendations on elimination and prevention of health, safety and decent work risks. Those recommendations should be used as a basis to develop new or amend current construction company action plans. Two-hour workshops for more than 170 managers and specialists of companies involved in construction are also expected to enhance management skills in the area of occupational safety.
“As part of FIFA’s efforts to further develop its human rights approach, we are very proud to have completed this first round of visits of our own independent monitoring system on working conditions," said FIFA’s Head of Sustainability, Federico Addiechi. "This marks an important step in our Sustainability Strategy for the FIFA World Cup in Russia and also demonstrates our commitment to taking our responsibility on human rights issues seriously."
The monitoring system is the result of efforts that began in September 2015 when the LOC and FIFA conducted a self-assessment survey of the companies building and renovating Russia 2018 stadiums, where working conditions, health and safety were addressed. The next step was an inspection of Saint Petersburg Stadium with representatives from the Building and Wood Worker's International and the Russian Building Workers Union in February 2016. In March, a workshop on decent working conditions and health and safety during the construction of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia stadiums was held with the participation of ILO and social partners.