More attention on agri, mining sectors during OSH awareness month

As the world continues to live through a global health crisis and face ongoing Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) risks in work places, the Ministry of Labour is also moving towards building a strong safety culture at all levels. 

OSH month begins on April 1, and Minister, Joseph Hamilton has highlighted some of the activities that are planned by the ministry and other stakeholders in bringing awareness to the importance of OSH.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, M.P

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a training programme recently, the minister said this year, greater emphasis will be placed on the agricultural sector as he believes it is one that is silently affected by poor OSH practices.

“We have some special focus. Last year, we focused on mining and construction. We would expand that this year to look at forestry and the agriculture sector because I believe we might be having more deaths in the agriculture sector silently than the ones we’re accustomed to, and therefore as I’ve said, we have put together a joint technical committee that is OSH with Labour and NAREI [ National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute], GRDB [ Guyana Rice Development Board] and RPA [ Rice Producers Association] and we will continue to do it that way.”

Minister Hamilton noted that officers will undergo specialised training in various fields to deal with a variety of OSH related incidents.

“We will be engaging the Forestry Commission, and as I’ve said the agriculture sector, to see how they can help us to develop the skillsets of those officers who will have to function in those areas of specialisation,” the Minister added.

As customary, there will be a several launching ceremonies for OSH programmes in the regions including, awareness walks and other activities during the month-long celebrations.

Great attention is also being placed on the health aspect of the mining sector and officers will be trained in rudimentary health care.

“Stabilising of a person, let’s say for instance a person has a puncture, how you manage that, a person got a fracture or broken limb, how you manage that until medical personnel arrives, so we’re working with a partner to develop that type of programme in the mining sector. Of course, we will also deal with it in the forestry sector because we have had deaths with trees falling on people and injuring people and that kind of thing. So those are the ideas we have what we will be doing during the month,” the minister noted.

On Sunday, April 3 an OSH walk will be held under the theme, “Act Together to build a Positive Safety and Health Culture.” It will kickstart from the forecourt of the Labour Ministry.