In an effort to support and enhance the Safety and Health At Work Act, nine regulations will soon be added.
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, disclosed this today as he addressed the start of a half-day seminar on the Upkeep and Neglect of Building Maintenance: The Consequences and Legacy hosted by Regal Development Solutions at The Courtyard by Marriott, Hastings, Christ Church.
Noting that this would help to operationalize the Act, he told the gathering that his ministry had completed discussions on these nine regulations to accompany the Safety and Health at Work Act.
He said: “These regulations include noise levels, access to and the use of personal protective equipment, visual display units, computer screens and other types of screens and workstations, the availability of drinking water, and the provision of sanitary conveniences or bathroom facilities. Within the next month we will be preparing the requisite Cabinet Paper and it will be sent for the consideration of Cabinet, and once Cabinet approves those nine regulations then we will send a request to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel’s office so that the actual legislation can be prepared.
“These important regulations are long overdue for many years. But once they are prepared, completed, finalized and passed through Parliament, they will enhance the operationalization of the Safety and Health At Work Act.”
While emphasizing that good building maintenance had an extremely important role to play in our lives, Mr. Jordan said that role involved more than work spaces looking clean, tidy and neat.
Pointing out that it also spoke to promoting wellness, safety and health in the workplace that would lead to healthier workers, higher morale and increased productivity, he said it addresses the health, safety and wellness of our communities, and the matter of preserving our environment for future generations.
Minister Jordan congratulated Regal Development Solutions for hosting the workshop and bringing the issue of building maintenance to the fore. While acknowledging that it showed their recognition that these matters impact the health and safety of workers, he gave the assurance that Government would do its part.
He said: “We recognize that we are not doing the kind of job that we ought to on our own buildings, and as a result, there are a number of sick buildings and we are trying our best to address those matters.”
Employers present were also urged to continue communicating with workers as they develop strategies and interventions targeted at occupational safety and health and wellness in the workplaces. “Broadening the scope for your workers’ input allows them to buy in and feel a part of the action that is intended for their benefit,” Mr. Jordan stated.