Changes to the Russian Labour Code, Uniform Standard Rules, ESG agenda, certification and much more – BIOT-2021 highlights

The topic of establishing and ensuring safe working conditions became the most vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 25th International Specialised Exhibition and Business Forum “Occupational Safety and Labour Protection — 2021” (BIOT-2021) took place on 7-10 December 2021 in Moscow at the Expocentre.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation and the Association SIZ.

The BIOT Business Programme covers all of the industry’s most pressing and challenging issues. RUSAL became a strategic partner of the Business Programme. During the plenary discussion the participants discussed the upcoming changes in the Russian legislation regulating relations between employees and employers in the field of occupational health and safety.

Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, opened the session with a video greeting to the participants and guests. «The Government gives priority to the preservation of life and health of workers in the course of their work activities,» said the Deputy Prime Minister, noting in her speech the contribution of the Association SIZ: «It was the member organisations of the Association SIZ that in the shortest time possible during the pandemic were able to multiply the production of the necessary personal protective equipment to protect medics and the public.»

Speaking at the plenary session, Mikhail Ivankov, Head of the Federal Service for Labour and Employment (Rostrud), said that Rostrud paid special attention to preventive maintenance among employers, helping them to avoid violations. One of the tools to help businesses, he said, was the «Online Inspector» service on the website “onlineinspektziya.rf”, which is actually an inspection simulator for employers. They can use it to self-check their business for possible violations, including health and safety conditions. «Since its launch, 970,000 self-inspections have been carried out. By eliminating violations identified by the system, employers have been able to protect themselves from fines worth more than 18 billion roubles,» said the Head of the Federal Service for Labour.

Other topics on the BIOT-2021 Business Programme included: Uniform PPE Standard, digitalisation of industrial safety systems, implementation of ESG standards in the industry, micro-trauma, membrane materials in PPE, Vizion Zero concept, safety culture trends and many more.

Particular attention was paid to the Uniform PPE Standard. Vladimir Kotov, President of the Association SIZ, organiser of the BIOT exhibition and direct participant in ETN development, commented that «Introduction of ETN shows the transition from listwise to risk-based approach. Earlier, all industrial standards contained over 2000 professions; currently 5357 professions are mentioned — these are the professions that are covered by the basic set of PPE. You can see from these figures that a tremendous amount of work has been done.”

In total, more than 100 different events took place during BIOT-2021: several online conferences on various sectors of industry, seminars, roundtables, foresight and pitching sessions, a science competition for students and postgraduates, the All-Russian Olympics for occupational safety specialists, the BIOTON championship for students and graduates specialising in occupational safety, the BIOT ART competition and the All-Russian Rescue Competition. They were attended by more than 50,000 specialists and experts in the fields of establishing and ensuring safe working conditions, the environment, and industrial and fire safety.

In addition to an eventful Business Programme, BIOT is the largest exhibition in Russia and Eastern Europe dedicated to occupational safety and personal protective equipment. The main part of BIOT-2021 exposition was formed by thematic Alleys and Salons: Shoe Materials and Equipment Alley, Press Alley, Alley Of Height And Operation In Restricted Space Area, Light Industry Technology and Equipment Salon. A total of 284 Russian and foreign exhibitors from 13 countries presented their products, with a total exhibition area of 15,000 square metres.

This year, the partner of the Alley Of Height And Operation In Restricted Space Area was the POLATI Professional Training Centre. Specialists from POLATI centre erected a scaffolding training ground at the Alley, where they demonstrated professional skills in safe working methods and techniques at height, rescue, evacuation and first aid, as well as conducting a demonstration of PPE in real-life conditions.

This year’s BIOT-2021 exhibition programme showcased innovations from industry flagships: Zelinsky Group, Dräger, SOYUZSPETSODEZHDA, Energocontract, Technoavia, Uvex, Respiratorniy Kompleks, EcoStandard group and many others. Despite the Covid Free format with all sanitary requirements of Rospotrebnadzor and the Moscow Government in place to prevent COVID-19 virus infection, the event attracted 16,378 offline participants from 25 countries.

The traditional audience of the event includes specialists and professionals in the field of occupational health and safety, heads and representatives of federal and regional authorities, members of international delegations, scientists, developers, manufacturers, consumers of personal protective equipment, experts in the field of occupational health and safety, industrial and environmental safety. This year, the event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Rostrud, RusAccreditation, Social Insurance Fund and Pension Fund, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia.