Ministry of Labour to hold national consultation to address occupational safety, health issues in workplace
Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Ministry of Labour will hold a national consultation today for stakeholders to discuss key concerns pertaining to occupational safety and health issues in the workplace, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour Ron-Dublin-Collins.
Appearing on “Working for You” May 2, Collins explained that out of this consultation, a formal occupational safety and health in the workplace policy will be formulated. He 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.
The permanent secretary said that a lot of work has been done in several years in terms of addressing occupational health and safety issues, but now there should be a proper legislative framework to ensure that there is compliance. “[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 Collins. He explained that the new code will consolidate existing laws in terms of labour legislation and deal with areas that need improvements. In addition, the 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 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 Collins.