National Safety Management System Programme To Follow SHaW Act

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Managing Director of the Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd, Mark King, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo and Health and Safety, Environment and Quality Administrator, Freddie Adamson admire the OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certificates. (A. Miller/BGIS)

In an effort to encourage all businesses to adhere to the regulations and provisions of the Safety and Health at Work (SHaW) Act, a National Safety Management System Programme will be developed.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, revealed that this initiative would be launched after the proclamation of the SHaW Act, which is expected to be passed by January 1, 2013.

She was speaking at a certification ceremony for staff of the Barbados Light and Power Company (BL&P) Ltd on their achievement of the Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard (OHSAS) 18001 and the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) 14001.

The Labour Minister noted that while all businesses would be targeted?? the safety management system would pay special attention to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

According to her, "SMEs with their limited resources tend to be more vulnerable to hazards in the workplace". ??She added that the programme would be essential to all enterprises since it could "enhance their competitiveness through the protection of their human resources and their capital".

Dr. Byer Suckoo added that the system would focus on general and specific hazards and the risks that were associated with each activity.?? She further explained that it could be used for small and large enterprises, saying: "An occupational safety and health management system is a logical tool that is flexible, and can be tailored to the size and nature of the organisation.

"Its flexibility allows it to manage the simple needs of a small enterprise running a simple, single product process where hazards and risks are easy to identify, to conglomerates with multiple hazard industries such as energy supply, chemical manufacturing or construction," she said.

The Labour Minister pointed out that a National Safety Management System Programme would not only address safety within the organisation but lead to greater productivity and profitability.

Also stressing that Section 7 (4) of the SHaW Act stated that employers must implement occupational health and safety management systems, she reasoned that such an initiative would aid businesses to comply with the SHaW Act.??

Moreover, she said that such a programme originated from the view that any and all types of work "can and need to be done safely".

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Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo with staff of the BL&P Co. Ltd. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Congratulating BL&P on attaining the OHSAS 18001, Dr. Byer Suckoo told the staff: "…This will help to sustain an enabling environment where preventive and protective measures are put in place in an efficient and coherent manner, pertinent policies are established, essential commitments are made, and the workplace rudiments to assess hazards and risks are considered, with involvement by all levels of responsibility in the labour force."

shamkoe.pile@barbados.gov.bb

Author: Shamkoe Pil??
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