Government Improving Occupational Safety and Health Culture in St Kitts and Nevis

The content originally appeared on: ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 27, 2022 (SKNIS): On Thursday (April 28), St. Kitts and Nevis will join in the important 2022 global observation of World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The annual observance promotes the reduction and elimination of accidents and diseases in occupational environments.

With the observance taking place on Thursday, Junique Eddy, Acting Head of the Occupational Safety and Health and Environment Unit at the Department of Labour, said the Government is working to enhance the culture so that employers, employees and clients can function in an improved environment.

On the April 27 edition of Working for You, Mr. Eddy said that creating such a culture can be achieved through “a system of defined rights, responsibilities, and duties” that accords to the principle of preventing workplace injury and diseases as a priority.

“At the national level, the Government as a whole commits to building and maintaining a preventative safety and health culture ensuring OSH (occupational safety and health) is considered a priority in the national agenda, [and] adequate means and resources are allocated to increase general awareness of OSH [along with the] knowledge of hazards and risks and understanding of their prevention and control,” he stated.

The success of this venture involves open and frank dialogue with stakeholders in society. In this case, the representative bodies can be found in the national tripartite partners such as the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the St. Kitts and Nevis Trades and Labour Union.

“The social dialogue contributes towards improving the quality of OSH policies and strategies, building ownership and commitment, facilitating their rapid and more effective implementation at the workplace level,” Mr. Eddy indicated.

Greater compliance with OSH regulations, integration of OSH management systems into the business management structures, and ensuring OSH are considered core values of the enterprise were also mentioned.

Mr. Eddy said that the COVID-19 pandemic provided an excellent opportunity to improve OSH practices in the workplace. Positive changes are expected as officials continue to enhance work environments across the twin-island Federation.