Three-pronged approach to improve OSH in work places  

Increased training and staff complement, and the implementation of a recording and notification of occupational accidents and diseases (RNOAD) system are being credited for the notable improvements in the operations of the Ministry of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) department.

Under the $6 million RNOAD initiative, 20 laptops, one desktop computer, seven laser printers, a high-definition projector and a virtual server to be managed by the National Data Management Authority, were procured.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, M.P.

The aim of the RNOAD is to improve the collection, management and monitoring of the administrative records database.

Minister, Joseph Hamilton, M.P, said that these investments are testimony to the commitment of the government in creating safe work places for employees.

He stressed the importance of partnerships between the ministry, and the relevant stakeholders to ensure the efficacy of the programmes designed for this purpose.

“We need to have people form health and safety committees that do not exist in both public and private sector. We also need help to resuscitate health and safety committees in both private and public sector.”

To complement this effort, the ministry is currently working to develop three public relations strategies.

“Firstly, the ministry will deal specifically with our relationship with the oil and gas companies, and secondly, to train and develop the skills and the craft of the offices so that they are not media-shy, so that they are able to articulate the law any place, at any given moment,” Minister Hamilton explained.

The third strategy will focus on creating daily digital advisory messages for the public.

The labour minister also spoke about the ministry’s recent report on work-related deaths. As of June 2022, nine persons died while on duty, primarily from the mining sector.

He told DPI that based on the statistics, the ministry would be able to ascertain how to utilise its resources to adequately address the situation.

“We would hope that as the years go by, that [work-related fatalities] decrease right down to zero because one death is  too many for us.”

So far, the ministry has appointed 33 OSH officers in the various regions.