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Appeal for Employers and Workers to Observe Health and Safety Measures in the Workplace

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Friday, May 09, 2003 - Occupational Health and Safety measures must be adopted, to help curb the number of workplace accidents which occur, some of which cause serious injuries to employees.

This admonition is coming from the Senior Occupational Health and Safety Officer at the Department of Labour Lesmond Magloire, who noted that so far the construction and the hotel sectors are the leading sources of reported cases of on the job accidents.

Magloire says workplace accidents will continue to occur if proper provisions are not instituted in the workplace or if people are simply not educated about safety measures. He suspects that many persons are ignorant on the issues of Occupational Health and Safety. Magloire says the ILO and the WHO worked jointly to formulate a definition of Occupational Health and Safety for both employers and employees.

“This is important in the sense that it tells a lot. The old thinking - are you going to make the man to fit the shoe or the shoe to fit the man? These are the questions you have to ask yourself even as a manager. What is important to you, or what is more important? Is it the man, the machinery or the equipment you’re using or the environment you’re going to have the man produce in?”

Another aspect of Occupational Health and Safety which receives little attention is its linkage with sustainable development, public health and the environment. However it has been proven that many chemicals that are harmful to man’s health are hazardous to the environment.

The Department of Labour relies on data collected through three main forms which have to be filled by workers whenever accidents occur. They are the Dangerous Occurrence, Injury and Accidents, and Notification of Occupational Accidents and Diseases forms. After the Department receives this information further investigations and analysis are then carried out.

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