The degree to which young people continue to be injured on the job is of grave concern to Youth Minister, Stephen Lashley.
Moreover, Mr. Lashley pointed out that a high incidence of injury among our young people would have severe implications going forward in relation to Barbados??? economy being able to produce at a standard that is highly competitive, both internally and externally.
He made these comments on Wednesday at Pinnacle Safety Solution???s Health and Safety Security Environment workshop, held at Accra Beach Hotel and Spa.
Noting that international statistics suggested that every nine minutes a young person was injured on the job, the Minister stated that persons under the age of 24 who suffered from work-related injuries have been observed, with a large number of deaths occurring among young people under the age of 18.
Emphasising that this was a statistic that pertained globally, Mr. Lashley insisted that it was important for Barbados to be proactive in ensuring that we do not reach that stage.
???I believe that the most important challenge for us is to translate our knowledge that we have into legislation and into corrective action where that action is required. So, there is a need for us to move from good intentions and good ideas to protecting the health and safety of our young people. We also have to be proactive and ensure that regulations once put in place are implemented, and where there are gaps in regulations, those gaps are very quickly plugged,??? he contended.
The Youth Minister pointed out that high injury rates were related to the frequency of injury hazards in places where young people typically worked, such as restaurants. He added that some young persons also lacked experience in many areas, and might not in fact receive adequate safety training.
???Sometimes, persons would try the short cut route and not pay enough attention to health and safety issues. Some young people, particularly those out of school, may also have inadequate fitness and of course their strength and cognitive levels may not be at the level that is critical and important for handling mechanical equipment. And some of this equipment has become quite complicated and sophisticated but we have to be able to match that with the appropriate training???,??? he charged.