|Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo speaking at the launch of the ‘Zero In on Safety: 100 Days to SHaW Campaign’ while Chief Labour Officer, Vincent Burnett looks on. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
In less than 100 days the Barbadian workforce will be protected by the Safety and Health at Work (SHaW) Act.
Government has given the assurance that on or before January 1, 2013, that legislation, which was enacted seven years ago, will be proclaimed.
Word of this has come from Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo as she addressed the launch of the Zero in on Safety: 100 Days to SHaW campaign, held last Friday, September 21, at the Amphitheatre, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.
According to Dr. Byer Suckoo: "The purpose of the campaign is to sensitise employers and employees of the SHaW Act requirements, their duties and obligations and the benefits to be derived from compliance with the provisions of the Act.
"A wide-ranging programme of activities is being coordinated by the Labour Department which will result in the public domain being flooded with safety tips, information and reminders to assist employers and employees with implementing the requirements of the SHaW Act," she continued.??
Explaining that the Zero in on Safety: 100 Days to SHaW campaign had been designed to reach a wide range of persons, the Labour Minister disclosed that many of the activities would incorporate information dissemination via the printed and electronic media as well as Facebook.
Outlining that activities could include highlighting workplaces that are already complying with the provisions of the Act, she added: "We will showcase how these organisations employ good safety and health practices in some areas such as the use of formal safety management systems, the establishment of safety and health committees, and the application of emergency procedures."
Another initiative of the Zero in on Safety: 100 Days to SHaW campaign is a poster competition. Open to children and adults alike, Dr. Byer Suckoo described this initiative as a way of "fostering a culture of safety within all aspects of the community.
The poster competition is being held under the theme: Safety for Life – it begins with you. It is being organised by the Ministry of Labour through the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health and the Labour Department.
Dr. Byer Suckoo also advised the public that the Occupational Safety and Health Section of the Labour Department and its staff have been equipped with educational material which was ideal for helping employers and employees to better understand their roles and responsibilities under the Act.