MINISTRY OF LABOUR TO HOLD NATIONAL CONSULTATION TO ADDRESS OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ISSUES IN THE WORKPLACE

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PS Bishop Ron Collins

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Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 02, 2018 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Labour will hold a National Consultation for stakeholders to discuss key concerns pertaining to occupational safety and health issues in the workplace on May 03, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Ron-Dublin-Collins.

Appearing on “Working for You” on May 2, Mr. Collins explained that out of this consultation, formal occupational safety and health in the workplace policy will be formulated. This new workplace health and safety policy should certainly help minimize any accidents that could occur whilst employees are at work, however, sometimes these accidents may still happen if corners are cut or employees are not given adequate training. Thankfully, Udall Shumway are some of the best attorneys you can find if a personal injury claim needs to be made. If an accident does happen at work, the person hurt could require time off work and incur a loss of earnings, so a personal injury claim may be a necessity.

Mr. Collins said that the process through which the issues concerning occupational safety and health and how these will be addressed will be discussed. “Each workplace has a different set of challenges, but there are things that are common to all,” he said. Employees in the gas, oil, and chemical sectors, for example, work in potentially explosive environments. To have the skills to operate in these areas, they may have to go through several training courses such as the compex training. It might be simple to navigate through work once the staff is aware about the operational hazards.

Lots of work has been done over several years in terms of addressing occupational health and safety issues, such as the installation of safety measures machines. This article about emergency stop (german article) buttons shows just one measure companies can implement on their machines to safeguard employees. There are many similar measures available, different ones for different workplaces. For example, people working in factories or warehouses, who operate loud and heavy machinery on a daily basis, might be required to fill in health and safety noise surveys from time to time to ensure their hearing is not getting damaged. Now should be the time for proper legislative framework to be put into law ensure that there is compliance and uptake of these measures.

“[If] we are going to be celebrating and recognizing things like World Day of Health and Safety, also Labour Day annually, we must move from talk into action to ensure that through legislation we can secure the rights of individuals, so that we can ensure that an environment exists to support what it is that we have been saying and what are the best practices,” he said.

The National Consultation will also address the terms of a new Labour Code that is presently being worked on, said Permanent Secretary Collins. He explained that the new Labour Code will consolidate existing laws in terms of labour legislation and deal with areas that need improvements. In addition, the new Labour Code will look at adjustments, which will ensure that there is a legislative framework that supports the initiatives of the Ministry of Labour.

He further explained that the new Labour Code will address “the changing economies that we have and the changing realities that we have in the labour administration throughout the entire island.”

“So, it is all part and parcel of the overall effort to improve the labour environment in St. Kitts and to ensure that we can support both employers and workers to ensure that we can improve our economic situation and best practices in the workplaces,” said Permanent Secretary Collins.

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