Chief Labour Officer, Vincent Burnett (FP)

Preparatory work for the Public Sector Survey has been completed and the Labour Department will shortly be embarking on field visits.

This disclosure has come from Chief Labour Officer, Vincent Burnett, who said a number of areas had been finalised, namely, the design of the inspection checklist, training of Environmental Health Officers and selection of a random sample of government sector workplaces.

Mr. Burnett explained that during the workplace visits, the officers would collect information on the number of employees, the various processes undertaken at the workplace, as well as its existing policies; risk assessments and safety committees, among other things.

"The officers will also examine the physical conditions of the workplace such as floors and passages, emergency procedures, indoor air quality, ergonomics, chemical

storage, use of machinery, ventilation, and other occupational safety and health matters," he further disclosed.

According to him, unannounced visits would be made to the establishments. "But, as is the practice," he stated, "we will request that a management official and if possible, an employee representative, participate in the walk-through inspection."

Mr. Burnett urged all Heads of Departments and Senior Officers to put arrangements in place to facilitate their participation in the survey. "This can be achieved by notifying staff of the possibility of a visit by a representative of the Labour Department and authorising full cooperation during this exercise," he observed.

The Chief Labour Officer called on public officers to support this segment of the initiative, stressing that its success "will rely greatly on the timely participation" of the workplaces being visited.

Commissioned by the Cabinet of Barbados, the survey seeks to gather evidence about the current working conditions of public sector employees. There will be field visits at about 200 workplaces, including health care institutions and laboratories, schools and child care facilities, public baths and beach facilities and office type buildings.

For further information, the Occupational Safety and Health Section of the Ministry of Labour should be contacted at 310-1524 or email labour@labour.gov.bb.


Author: Labour Department/Sharon Austin-Gill-Moore

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