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Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are being encouraged to “buy-in” to the Barbados National Standards Institution’s (BNSI) Safe Business Verification Stamp. 

This would serve as a public declaration that they are committed to protecting the health of their employees and customers who patronise their establishments on a daily basis.

Technical Officer Specifications Development, Quality Control and Certification, at the BNSI, Lynn Sealy, made this comment recently, as she explained the benefits of having the BNSI Safe Business Verification Stamp.

She said having the stamp suggests that the business has been independently and impartially assessed by the BNSI.

“The BNSI is then able to verify that the business has implemented occupational health and safety practices regarding COVID-19, that are based on international standards and best practice and in line with the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness,” Ms. Sealy stated.

The Technical Officer said the protocols contained in the BNSI Safe Business Verification Stamp identify the practices to be implemented, in order to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. They also provide guidance for the handling of emergency situations, such as exposure or infection on site.

Additionally, Ms. Sealy said the BNSI had reviewed the current International Standards for Occupational Health and Safety, or ISO 45001, and also the guidelines for the safe return to work and COVID-19 mitigation and prevention in the workplace, published by the International Labour Organization, and the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. 

She added: “What we have done is, we (BNSI), have summarised all of this information, the requirements and recommendations, so we can provide businesses with a concise set of protocols, in an easy-to-read format. The business is assessed based on its own specific operations considering criteria such as size, location(s), number of employees and customers, and degree of interaction with customers and suppliers.”

Ms. Sealy continued: “The protocols then determine measures to be implemented in order to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 related infection, accidents and breaches of legislation, as well as improve the overall occupational health and safety performance of the business.”     

The ISO 45001 is the internationally recognised standard for occupational health and safety management systems. It was published by the International Organization for Standardization in 2018.

Further information on the Safe Business Verification Stamp may be obtained by calling the BNSI at 426-3870, or e-mailing bnsi.office@barbados.gov.bb.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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