Revised safety policy by end of October

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The government of Guyana met with stakeholders to discuss the revision of the National Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H) Policy and to create an action plan to guide the works of the OS&H Council.

Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Keith Scott

Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Keith Scott

The Ministry of Social Protection partnered with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to host a three-day consultation on the creation of an updated Decent Work Country Programme at the Herdmanston Lodge, Georgetown, today. The workshop is being facilitated by ILO representatives.

The revision of the safety policy was addressed during today’s consultations. Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Keith Scott in his address at the opening of the consultation encouraged stakeholders to ensure that their synergy created a policy that is suitable to the specific needs of the Guyana’s situation.

The Minister encouraged the incorporation of the use of technology in the revised safety policy. Technology must influence the crafting and refashioning of the safety policy to help reduce work place injuries and illness, the Minister stated.

“An examination of the primary focus and agenda of the Factories’ Act and OS&H Act provides distinct understanding that a social policy is not only absolutely necessary it must be current and reflective of the evolving technology which does not in any way transgress the rights and safety of workers,” Minister Scott noted.

A section of the stakeholders attending the International Labour Organisation consultation

A section of the stakeholders attending the International Labour Organisation consultation

Stakeholders involved in the consultation were drawn from unions, the private sector and government agencies including the Ministry of Social Protection and members of the Council on OS&H.

Minister Scott said that it was government’s hope that participation of the main stakeholders in the exercise will lead to a collective ownership. “The fact that the social partners are present and will be actively participating in discussions and deliberations is an indication that there is a willingness to test before us and to attack the task that we have to undertake,” Minister Scott said.

Unsuccessful attempts were made in 2002 to review the National Safety Policy which is over 20 years old. The revised policy and national action plan areexpected to be completed by October. The action plan will guide the work of the OS&H Council during its two-year tenure.

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