May 01, 2009 News Comments Off on More focus to be directed to workplace health and safety- PS Labour
The concept of Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H) has evolved over the years, expanding from merely maintaining good working standards in factories to addressing the concerns of occupational diseases today.
But yet there is need for employers’ understanding of this process to be better understood.
As a result, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Trevor Thomas, said that the Ministry continues to play an active part in promoting OS&H and to enforce measures whenever the need arises. He said that with the evolution process, OS&H is now confronted with huge challenges, adding that the impact of the HIV/AIDS virus in the workplace is certainly not among the least.
“The Ministry recognises that HIV/AIDS is not just a health issue; it is a production and workplace issue.
Therefore if we are to effect a response to the disease we will have to make sure that the workplace has the capacity,” Thomas said.
And though measures are being put in place in this regard, the Permanent Secretary lamented the fact that there are reports that some employers are insisting that employees reveal their status or go and get tested.
“This is something that we have to vigorously resist and I think more and more as the HIV/AIDS policy is made available and used I hope that employers will work with the Ministry to ensure that persons are not discriminated against because of their HIV status.”
The Ministry of Human Services, as a result, has increased its capacity to inspect and provide support for employers. According to Thomas, last year, in excess of 3,000 inspections were done, adding that last year it was expected that there would have been an increase.
This move, he said, was not just to ensure that employers comply with labour, occupational safety and health laws and standards but to help employees to do so as well.
Accordingly, he said that “we will increase the number of seminars and we will be willing to work with employers to build their capacity to provide training for staff to ensure that occupational, safety and health committees do not only exist on paper but are functioning and are effective and can contribute to the well being of employees.”
For this reason, Thomas said that the Ministry will maintain its vigorous stance towards further promoting occupational safety and health.
He added that it is hoped that “we are not forced to have to prosecute employers who fail to comply.”
However, Thomas cautioned that the main focus is to help employers to build capacity to help them to have an enabling environment that would allow employees to realise their full potential.
World Day for Occupational Safety and Health was observed locally on Tuesday with a symposium and ceremony at Hotel Tower, which was spearheaded with the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security and the National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health.
The day was observed under the theme ‘Health and life at work: A basic human right’. Awards were presented to a number of companies that have been observing occupational safety and health standards and for allowing the HIV/AIDS policy in their workplaces.
Among the OS&H awardees were Banks DIH, Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Bosai’s Minerals Guyana Inc., Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), and Pegasus Hotel.
For demonstrating excellence as it relates to HIV/AIDS programme in the workplace, GuySuCo, GRDB, Edward B. Beharry and Sons, along with several individuals were awarded.
Sep 25, 2020United States based 8 year-old Guyanese athlete Alpha Harrison has been duly rewarded for a splendid year on the track in 2019 by being named USA Track and Field / New York Under-8 Athlete of the...
I am a senior citizen chalking up more than 50 years of fighting for rights over wrongs and 32 years of being a media operative... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]