Gov’t committed to maintaining safe, healthy workplaces

The Labour Ministry remains keen on maintaining the safety and health of workers countrywide.

 Minister, Joseph Hamilton said Friday that the government’s interventions in the workplace have contributed to the decrease in workplace fatalities.  

Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton

 “You have to pay attention to what you would have as a likely increase if you didn’t have these interventions. So, if you didn’t have the interventions. If you didn’t have a NACOSH board, that is to engage and involve the Ministry of Labour’s OSH department. That is what we’re doing since 2020. That 32 per cent would have become 42 per cent in 2021,” he said.

In 2020, there were 32 workplace fatalities mostly in mining and construction.

There was a 16 per cent reduction in workplace fatality in 2021 and a 24 per cent reduction in 2022.

Some 1,298 workplace inspections were completed for the public and private sectors in 2022.

The plans of the ministry’s OSH department and the National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) have been executed well in keeping with the department’s aim.   

The responsibilities are to monitor, enforce, and encourage the practice of good safety and health standards at workplaces.

Men at a construction site

The aim is to sensitise, create, and increase awareness in workers and the general public as to the importance of safety and health at workplaces and at homes.

This will create and maintain safe working environments by making use of all tools at their disposal to raise public understanding of the idea of risks and hazards.

Regarding the expansions and developments across the country, Minister Hamilton underlined that, “The more roads, bridges, and houses you build, this means that more persons will be exposed in workplaces. It means that we will need to train and produce more health and safety workers because you are doing more. That is something we have to pay attention to.”

He highlighted that the NACOSH board was informed that all of the agencies have to participate in training and continue training for the health and safety of officers within the various agencies.

This will help to strengthen the safety and health systems within the organisations.

The minister stated, “We will continue to work with agencies to ensure that their health and safety committee function effectively and efficiently in the public and private sectors so that we can keep people safe. That is the fundamental issue.”

The minister emphasised that the ministry will continue its work on providing training and engagement sessions with workplaces across the country to ensure they adhere to the health and safety regulations.

“I’m talking about workplaces whether it be fields, offices, or factories. We will continue that engagement, education, and training. Any company and any governmental entity or agency that believes that there is a need for training of their employees. We do it for free, anywhere in the country. That is something that we do continuously as part of our work there at the ministry,” Minister Hamilton added.