Labour Ministry to roll out campaign to reduce workplace accidents

The Ministry of Labour will be launching a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of workplace accidents, injuries and death.  

Minister Hon. Joseph Hamilton said the campaign seeks to inform employers and workers about the risks and possible consequences of poor health and safety management in the workplace.  He made this disclosure at a meeting on Monday with regional officials in Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two).

While the Ministry has been engaging businesses on the importance of adhering to occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, there have been complaints about workers’ refusal to wear safety gear at work sites.

“So, employees themselves have to be educated.  We have to roll out a robust public relations campaign to inform people as to the detriment to themselves if they don’t pay attention to certain standards,” he said.

Minister Hamilton reminded the meeting that the labour law stipulates that if any business or organisation has more than 19 staff members a safety and health committee must be established.

The campaign will target both the public and private sectors.  

The Minister added, “the law is for everybody and the same way how the Labour Officer will give a citation to a private company, the same way they must prepare to give it to the REO and the superintendent at the hospital and the headmistress/headmaster of the school if they are in breach of the labour laws – OSH laws or any environmental laws.”

Over the past month, Minister Hamilton and his team have been conducting familiarisation visits across the regions. The team discovered that key provisions of the Constitution of Guyana and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in matters pertaining to the rights and entitlement of workers were being breached at private and public sector establishments.

Minister Hamilton said his Ministry will be working to tackle these issues in keeping with its mandate to protect workers’ rights.

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