Public Service Ministry launches first OSH Committee

The Ministry of Public Service has launched its first Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Committee, which will provide an enabling workplace environment in keeping with OSH legislation.

The eight-member team was officially introduced on Friday as the Ministry observes OSH month.

Minister, Hon. Sonia Parag said the new committee would meet the needs of the evolving public sector.

“We always associate it with construction. We always associate it with industrial actions, and now that we have a public service around the world and in Guyana that is evolving, we obviously need to have an agenda that is in keeping, suitable and evolving with the public sector,” she told staff members and other invitees at the simple ceremony. 

Minister of Public Service, Hon. Sonia Parag

The Minister said OSH principles would be applied in all Ministries across the public sector. 

Meanwhile, she noted that in the wake of COVID-19, the public sector employees must keep themselves safe.

“I do, therefore, implore every public servant to create and sustain a safe work environment as we continue to live in this pandemic and beyond.”

Ministry of Labour’s OSH Consultant, Ms. Gwenneth King, sashing a member of the new committee

OSH Consultant, Ministry of Labour, Ms. Gwenneth King, said investing in safety and health is ‘good business.’ Ms. King said the Public Service Ministry made the right decision in implementing a system that would monitor safety and health in the workplace.

“At the minimum, investing in Occupational, Safety and Health systems means that workplaces need to have a workplace safety and health policy that all workers are aware of and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. You also need to have a programme in place to implement that policy.”

A section of the gathering at the Ministry of Public Service, today

Ms. King said Guyana has come a long way regarding OSH. The country, she said, has evolved from a focus on the safety of factory workers only to the safety and health of all persons working in the public and private sectors. 

OSH month was officially launched by the Ministry of Labour on April 1, under the theme “Investing in OSH systems – capitalising on safe and healthy working environments in times of crisis.”