Safety, health awareness in workplaces being strengthened

As Guyana continues its commitment to fostering a safe and healthy work environment, various ministries and agencies are ramping up efforts to enforce stringent safety policies across workplaces.

A safety exhibition was hosted on Wednesday at the Ministry of Labour’s head Office, Brickdam, where numerous organisations showcased essential safety gear and highlighted key safety measures crucial for workplace environments.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton and Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn engaging with traffic ranks who maintain safety and order on the roadways

Station Officer of the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), Javid Mohamed is keen on ensuring the government’s safety and health regulations are upheld in workplaces.

The fireman underscored the importance of firefighters being properly attired, while emphasising the need for accessible fire extinguishers in every building.

“There are strict regulations when it comes to persons fully kitted. We ensure that they are kitted on fire scenes because if they are not then they will be disciplined, according to our Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs),” Mohamed explained.

Inspector from the Pesticide and Toxic Control Centre Board (PTCCB), Yknia Johnson issued a compelling call for the public to prioritise the use of protective gear when handling hazardous pesticides, underscoring their potential dangers.

“Regarding pesticides, we always consider them as a serious hazard. Therefore, we need to take special care and ensure that we get the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) whenever we are using pesticides,” Inspector Johnson encouraged.

Station Officer, Javid Mohamed and a rank from the Guyana Fire Service demonstrating how to properly use a fire extinguisher

Representing the Ministry of Public Works’ Special Projects Department, Synika La Cruez, reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to ensuring the safety of workers involved in construction projects.

“The ministry is committed to having health and safety within the workplace and we have been devising different methods and ensuring that our contractors adhere to all the technical specifications that we have regarding health and safety at all construction sites,”La Cruez assured.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, issued a call for a collaborative effort between relevant agencies and the education ministry to enhance public awareness of safety and health practices, particularly among students.

He emphasised the importance of implementing effective communication and public relations programmes aimed at promoting Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) awareness in homes and workplaces.

“At the level of the Ministry of Labour, we want to extend this conversation and we hope to do a deliberate communication and public relations programme that takes occupation, safety, and health into our homes,” Minister Hamilton asserted.

As part of the celebrations to commemorate OSH day, a walk will be held on Sunday, April 28th.

This year’s observance is themed, “We are running out of time, ensuring safety and healthy work now, in a changing climate,” andunderscores the urgency of prioritising OSH in the face of evolving environmental challenges.