Employers in the hospitality sector will soon receive assistance in assessing the safety and health conditions at their hotels and restaurants in an effort to reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring at these facilities.

This disclosure has come from acting Senior Safety and Health Officer in the Labour Department, Alison Elcock, who said the Occupational Safety and Health Section would be conducting an inspection blitz in the hospitality sector between Wednesday, September 1 and Sunday, October 31.

Explaining the rationale for the initiative, Mrs. Elcock stated: "This sector was selected as it continues to rank very high with respect to the number of accidents reported to our office, many of which occur in kitchens and restaurants."

According to her, the inspections at hotels and restaurants along the south and west coasts will focus on several areas including kitchens, laundries and maintenance areas. "Attention will also be given to chemical storage, emergency procedures, accident recording and notification, the existence of safety committees and HIV/AIDS policies," she pointed out.

During the period, Safety and Health Officers will make unannounced visits to the establishments, but as is the customary practice, they will request that a management representative, and if possible, an employee representative, participate in the walk-through inspection.

Mrs. Elcock stressed, however, that "if no representative is available", the Officer "will still conduct the inspection and communicate the findings to the employer".

She has urged employers to cooperate fully with the representatives of the Labour Department as they seek to promote the maintenance of desirable occupational safety and health standards.

Those seeking further information on the inspection blitz in the hospitality sector may contact 310-1524 or e-mail labour@labour.gov.bb. saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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