Health And Safety Legislation Urgently Needed

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President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, (NCPADD) Victor Roach, is urging the Ministry of Labour to make good on its promise to implement the much needed Occupational Safety and Health Legislation.

He made this renewed call today while addressing the Customs and Excise Department’s/NCPADD’s one day workshop on drugs.?? It was held in the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.

Mr. Roach added: "The Occupational Health and Safety Act is still a dream.?? Today, I say to the Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, to bring the overdue proclamation to fruition."

Quoting from statistics compiled by the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the United States (NIDA), the NCPADD president revealed that drug abusers requested time off and early dismissal from their various work places 2.2 times more than non-abusers during the working period.

Additionally, Mr. Roach said an alcoholic’s addiction was costly to his or her employer to the tune of 25 per cent of his salary in lost productivity; while 40 per cent of industrial fatalities and 47 per cent of industrial accidents were alcohol related.????

A typical drug abuser, he added, showed up late for work three times more often than a non-abuser and used up three times the normal level of sickness benefits allotted to workers.?? Drug abusers were also five times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim.

"It is also a fact that a drug using employee is involved in accidents three to six times more often than a non-user and was likely to inflict injury to him/herself or others 3.6 times more often than?? a non-user," Mr. Roach underlined.

The NCPADD President also alluded to the National Council on Substance Abuse’s report on 18 government departments which showed alcoholism as a major problem among those surveyed.

In this regard, Mr. Roach said the statistics highlighted the negative impact of drugs on productivity.?? Some of the factors include: absenteeism, high accident rate, decreased job efficiency and poor employee relations, among other areas.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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