Georgetown, Guyana: The Ministry of Labour officially launched its Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Month 2023, on Friday, March 31st, 2023, in an effort to raise workers’ safety awareness.
This year’s theme is “A safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and a right at work.”
Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton stated that since assuming office in August 2020, the OSH department under his leadership has been able to reduce workplace fatalities by 16 per cent in 2021, which further declines in 2022 by 20 percent.
The Ministry informed that for 2022, the department conducted 1298 inspections countrywide in both the private and public sector workers, with an 85 per cent achievement of the inspection target. Meanwhile, 21 complaints in relation to workplace incidents were received and investigated.
Further it stated that with that in mind, he stressed the importance of maintaining a safe work environment in order to protect the lives of public and private workers across the country. The minister urged employers to collaborate with the ministry’s Occupational Safety and Health officers to establish and strengthen OSH systems in their respective workplaces.
Additionally, Minister Hamilton also revealed the PPP/C Administration’s upcoming plans to host the 12th ILO Meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour on May 23-25th.
Occupational Safety and Health Consultant Gweneth King also discussed the history of OSH month and how it has evolved to reinforce the intention of promoting occupational accidents and disease prevention by creating a safe and healthy workplace.
Labour Ministry, Permanent Secretary, Bishram Kuppen, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, Private Sector Commission, Chairman Paul Cheong, National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health, Chairman, Earl Morris, Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana, President, Carvil Duncan among other officials also attended the ceremony.
Meanwhile, a small exhibition was also held featuring the OSH department’s key stakeholders, such as the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Exxon Mobil, and other companies.