Minister Hamilton urges change in way OSH is viewed

─ Region 10 officially kicks off OSH month

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, M.P, on Monday stressed the need for change on how occupational safety and health is viewed on a national level, to protect the lives of workers.

Minister Hamilton made the remarks as he joined the Linden Electricity Company Incorporated (LECI) and the LINMINE Secretariat, to kick off Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)Month in Region 10.

Minister of Labor, Joseph Hamilton, M.P

“We have two options in this country, so either we change the safety and health culture that we don’t pay attention to in the workplaces and homes, or we prepare to visit wake houses and play dominoes and cards,” he said.

He said his ministry is fully committed to the first option and it is the reason he took on such an important role.

Linden Electricity Company Incorporated (LECI), Chairman, Board of Directors, Andrew Forsythe

The Labour Minister said since assuming office in 2020, his ministry has been able to expand its labour and OSH department to do so. Almost every region has a labour and OSH officer, which led to a 16 percent decline in workplace fatalities in 2021.

Minister Hamilton said this is just the beginning of what his ministry intends to do for the workforce, moving forward. He reminded persons that they could be severely penalised for obstructing officers from performing their duties.

Linden Electricity Company Incorporated (LECI) Acting General Manager Avery Trim

“Any leader who does not have their workers or staff interests at heart should not be leading, and I live by this simple mantra which is ‘Do onto others that you would have them do onto you’.”

The minister also urged employees to report their employers to the relevant authorities, should they feel their safety is being jeopardised.

LECI’s Chairman, Andrew Forsythe said the power company is currently working on a safety manual for its staff as their health and safety are priorities.

A section of the gathering

The company’s acting General Manager, Avery Trim said, “the journey to a safe culture is a long one, especially when it comes to protecting frontline workers.” To this end, he urged employees to report any incidents/accidents they experience while on duty for investigation to prevent recurrences.

This year’s OSH month is being observed under the theme “Act together to build a positive safety and health culture.”