Embrace Occupational Health and safety culture – Min. Keith Scott
DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 13, 2018
Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott says that his government’s philosophy is that no worker should be exposed to a culture of unsafe work practices.
The Minister was at the time addressing the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) walk in McKenzie, Linden, Region Ten today, where he noted that “for much too long, employers have deemed safety functions as too costly and burdensome and have consequently exposed young workers who are usually vulnerable to unsafe practices.”
The walk, which commenced from the Linden Hospital Complex and concluded at the Mckenzie Sports Club Ground, forms part of the calendar of events commemorating Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Month under the theme “Generation Safety and Health: by improving the safety and health of young workers.”
The month’s activities will focus on expanding the knowledge base and sensitising young workers about their rights and obligations within the context of OSH, both at the enterprise and national level.
According to Minister Scott, the event is intended to lay the foundation for an OSH culture which must be transmitted to succeeding generations.
“Generally, workers enter the world of work physically fit and healthy and they expect that they should leave the same way…They participate in industry, government and enterprise, to make meaningful contributions to society and to enjoy a good life, but a good life cannot be attained and sustained if the work environment and conditions of work for which employers are mostly responsible are unsafe and even perilous,” Minister Scott noted.
The Minister observing the costs that companies would avoided if a culture of OSH was embraced at all times urges that these businesses, “become conscious of occupational health and safety.” “It would beneficial to most companies and their workers for the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to highlight the relationship between incidents and accidents and the huge amounts of money which have been expended for industrial injury benefits as consequence of poor OSH practices,” the Minister said.
To the participants of the walk, he urged, “get involved in OSH committees in your work place…let us help to educate the younger ones on the importance of practicing safety at the work place.”
Newly elected Mayor of Linden, Waneka Arrindell noted that, it is imperative that persons are cognisant of the need for education and a shift in their thinking and attitude towards safety and health. “Occupation Safety and Health is everybody’s business…Accidents do not just happen, they are caused.” Mayor Arriendell emphasised.
Also participating in this morning’s health walk were representatives from Guyana Water Incorporated, Linden Electricity Incorporated, Linden Mayor and Town Council, the Linden Hospital Complex, Guyana Elections Commission, Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Forestry Commission and Bosai Mineral Group.
By: Synieka Thorne