Ministry of Labor deploys 10 additional security guards across country

The Ministry of Labor has deployed an additional 10 Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers to regions of Guyana with the aim of reducing workplace fatalities, particularly in the mining sector.

Yesterday, during the opening session of the virtual consultation to develop an OHS program, Minister Joseph Hamilton said he was deeply concerned about workplace deaths and tired of offering his condolences to parents, colleagues and friends of the deceased.

“Occupational health and safety are a concern… because our human resources are very important for the development of our country. In this regard, I have taken certain steps to ensure that all workers in this country are aware of the need to practice good occupational safety and health so that in the end they can return home to their homes. family, ”Hamilton said.

He explained that the staffing of the OSH unit has been increased by 20 so that workers in every region of the country have access to occupational safety and health services. Ten officers who have benefited from intensive two-week OSH training have already been deployed to various regions while 10 more are in the process of being recruited.

“I also ensured that the capacity of the existing nine officers was strengthened. They have… benefited from refresher training in OSH so that they are better equipped to provide the technical support and advice that new recruits will need, ”explained the Minister.

The consultation aimed to start the implementation of Guyana’s policy on occupational safety and health.

According to the ministry, the main objectives of yesterday’s consultation were to strengthen capacity building in occupational safety and health, introduce and review national OSH programs and gather input from key parties. stakeholders to develop the national OSH program.

Hamilton told those in attendance at the virtual session that his vision is an accident-free Guyana.

“I am aware that this is ideal but with the collaboration of our partners and stakeholders, we can work on it,” he noted, adding that he would also like to see us have a safe climate in Guyana where there is has a culture of safety in every workplace where workers don’t just care about themselves, but also about their colleagues.

The minister’s vision also included legislation for each sector of the economy that is current and provides workers with protection they know about.

He specifically asked participants to consider projects that will raise awareness in mining communities and lead to the elimination of pit wall collapses, drownings in mining pits and road accidents that cause workplace fatalities in these communities. .

We’re not sure what’s going on in agriculture, Hamilton said.

“We know chemicals are used and while it is recommended that you use personal protective equipment, we are not sure that it is used all the time. I think there is a need for an activity there that will inform us of what is really going on so that strategies can be developed to protect the safety and health of workers in this sector, ”he said. he declares.

For the oil and gas sector, the minister recalled that safety regulations are overdue and urgently needed.

Finally, he requested that consideration be given to the development of specialized skills for OSH staff in areas such as maritime safety, construction safety, mining agriculture, oil and gas and forestry.

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Susan W. Lloyd

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