25 companies sign agreement to improve workplace safety and health
Companies both in the private and public sectors have partnered with the Social Protection Ministry to tackle the issue of workplace safety and health.
According to the Social Protection Ministry, 23 individuals died during unavoidable workplace accidents in 2015; one of the worst years for the ministry.
During a partnership forum between the Ministry and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Occupational Safety and Health, it was revealed that the government is hoping to address the issue by establishing an agreement with several businesses including public service departments.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Lorene Baird said a collaborative approach is pivotal in tackling and improving occupational health and safety as the government alone cannot ensure safety in every workplace as employers have to also commit to honouring the laws.
ILO Specialist highlighted that the primary responsibility for employers is to provide a safe and healthy working environment.
Social Protection Minster, Keith Scott believes that a commitment to health and safety should not be an option for employers. He noted that such provisions should be a way of life.
Twenty-four workplaces on Tuesday signed the partnership agreement with the Ministry at the Pegasus hotel.
The partnership will take effect within the next six months and will remain in effect after the initial period. The inked agreement can only be terminated unless a 30-day written notice is given by either the company or the Labour Ministry’s occupational safety and health department.
The agreement will see safety and health audits of the companies /agencies conducted, investigation of all accidents and near-misses at the workplace to prevent recurrence, review past accident history and ensure the implementation of reporting systems in keeping with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Training will also be provided at the agencies.
Based on these objectives it is anticipated that the outputs will include:
- A reduction of workplace injuries
- Hazards identified and corrected.
- Increased employer/employee contact with the Labour and Occupational Safety and Health Department.
- Safety and Health Programmes and policies instituted in workplaces
- Safety and Health committees established and functioning in workplaces.
- Increased awareness at the levels of the public and the workplace with respect to Occupational Safety and Health
- Review past accident history and ensure the implementation of reporting systems in keeping with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.