Occupational Safety And Health Bill Tabled

Story Highlights

  • Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, reiterated the Government’s commitment to table the Bill this year
  • According to a release from the Labour Ministry, the legislation will place less emphasis on punishing offenders, through administrative orders geared at attaining compliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Bill was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (April 4).

The legislation, which is geared at securing the safety and health of all Jamaican workers, was tabled by Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, reiterated the Government’s commitment to table the Bill this year, during his Throne Speech on February 9.

Some features of the proposed legislation include the imposition of duties of care to ensure safety and health at all levels of the labour supply chain, with persons conducting business or undertakings as the main duty bearers; and an expansive concept of a workplace to include a place where domestic work is carried out as an economic activity.

According to a release from the Labour Ministry, the legislation will place less emphasis on punishing offenders, through administrative orders geared at attaining compliance, as well as allowing for the payment of a fixed penalty to discharge liability in some instances.

“When enacted, the landmark umbrella legislation, which is intended to operate in tandem with existing, sector-specific, safety and health legislation, is expected to significantly reduce the occurrences and severity of workplace accidents, injuries and diseases in the public and private sectors as well as in the formal and informal economies,” the release stated.

The legislation will address specific components of safety and health through the subsequent enactment of Regulations to treat with subjects such as child labour, and occupational diving.

JIS Social