Sen. Arni Walters????

Barbados’ Safety and Health Officers need to undergo more training, if this country is to achieve higher standards in occupational safety and health.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour, Senator Arni Walters, made this disclosure recently at the closing ceremony of a two-week Eastern Caribbean-United States of America Tripartite Cooperation Programme on the subject, at the Warrens Office Complex.

"In our current circumstance, it is certain that there is much more training that needs to be done if our Safety and Health Officers are to be afforded the opportunity to gain the competencies required to achieve the goal of attaining and maintaining the highest practicable standards of Occupational Safety and Health practice in our jurisdiction.

"The true test of the competence is likely to be determined in our own judicial system as officers will be expected to provide competent and expert advice to the courts," Mr. Walters said.??

The Minister added that this initial programme could only be viewed as the beginning, since there were more specialised areas of training identified through the review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration catalogue of training courses to which officers should be exposed.

He further stated that one question which would need to be posed to the US authorities is: "What extent are you able to accommodate us on our journey in providing proficient Safety and Health Officers to meet the needs of our system?"

Minister Walters also spoke of the need for future cooperation in this area among Eastern Caribbean countries.?? "Recognising the common interests of our respective countries of the Eastern Caribbean in the proper administration of occupational safety and health in our jurisdictions and the reality that the US Embassy covers the Eastern Caribbean, there seems to be sufficient mutuality of interest to form the basis for future cooperation among us in this area," he said.

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