Gov’t to take health and safety beyond workplace – Min. Hamilton

To address the ‘no-safety culture’ in Guyana which has been deemed a ‘national problem’, the Labour Ministry is looking to roll out a comprehensive strategy aimed at promoting health and safety beyond the workplace.

Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton made the disclosure during a recent meeting with an oil and gas company.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton

Part of this strategy entails a consistent communication plan to bring about general awareness and knowledge.

As a result, the ministry has commenced discussions with several companies to roll out this Public Relations (PR) strategy.

We plan next year also to take it beyond workplace because it’s a national problem, it’s not a workplace problem…People got a big bomb in their house every day and they don’t even realise it. So, the point is beyond workplace safety,” Minister Hamilton stated.

In addition, the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency will be visiting schools to sensitise and engage students on the issue of health and safety.

While the strategic plan is being developed, the ministry has been making strides in addressing health and safety at workplaces. Training sessions were conducted with employers and employees on the importance of practicing safety over the past two years.

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Officers who were mainly stationed in Region Four were required to travel to other regions to conduct inspections; however, when the current government assumed office, Minister Hamilton ensured that every region had an OSH officer.

“A lot of work was done in Region Four…. Now we have in every region, the first time in the history of Guyana, you have in every region a Ministry of Labour sub-office and therefore you have health and safety offices in every region,” the minister noted.

Inspections have been conducted at private sector enterprises and government agencies. Minister Hamilton said it is important for Guyanese to practice health and safety as the country undergoes massive transformation.

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