Protecting workers from excessive UV in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

People who work outdoors are vulnerable to the harmful health effects of excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

An action plan for prevention, early warning and management of UV radiation, particularly for workers, is urgently needed in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This was the conclusion reached by a meeting of stakeholders that took place in December 2013.

The meeting reviewed findings of an evaluation of the National Climate Change Health Adaptation Strategy performed in early 2013 and a WHO-led analysis of the existing situation in the country (September–December 2013), carried out in collaboration with the Institute for Occupational Health (a WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health) and the Ministry of Health.

The situation analysis provided an overview of the national laws, strategies, action plans, regulations and activities for prevention, early warning and management of the adverse effects of increased UV radiation, with a special focus on worker’s health.

Among other issues, it revealed that UV radiation and its health effects are defined and regulated in separate legislation, strategies and action plans. Coordination among responsible institutions as well as a general legislation framework on this issue are lacking.

The meeting of stakeholders called for the establishment, with WHO guidance and support, of an action plan that will be incorporated in the National Operation Health Plan 2020.