OSH Bill to Significantly Improve Working Conditions – Minister Robinson

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson (right), enjoys a light moment with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Pearnel Charles (second right); President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, Helene Davis Whyte (left); and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, Brenda Cuthbert. Occasion was the Workers’ Week Panel Discussion held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (May 19) under the theme ‘Preserving Workers’ Legacy through Health, Safety and Well-Being’.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says she is pleased that after more than 20 years, the Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) Bill has been tabled in Parliament.
  • “It has been a long road for this Bill. This landmark statute is expected to significantly improve working conditions in all areas of economic activity by reducing the occurrences and severity of workplace accidents throughout workplaces in Jamaica,” Minister Robinson said.
  • Minister Robinson was bringing remarks at the Workers’ Week Panel Discussion held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston today (May 19). It was held under the theme ‘Preserving Workers’ Legacy through Health, Safety and Well-Being’.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says she is pleased that after more than 20 years, the Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) Bill has been tabled in Parliament.

“It has been a long road for this Bill. This landmark statute is expected to significantly improve working conditions in all areas of economic activity by reducing the occurrences and severity of accidents throughout workplaces in Jamaica,” she said.

Minister Robinson was bringing remarks at the Workers’ Week Panel Discussion held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston today (May 19). It was held under the theme ‘Preserving Workers’ Legacy through Health, Safety and Well-Being’.

The panel discussion featured presentations from tripartite partners, the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions and the Jamaica Employers’ Federation.

Discussions centred on ways to increase knowledge and awareness of the Bill, the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers and how organisations can become compliant.

Minister Robinson urged the participants to add their voice to the discussion, as it is part of an ongoing educational campaign by the Ministry’s OSH Unit leading up to the parliamentary debate on the Bill.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Pearnel Charles, who represented Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, urged employers and workers to comply with the guidelines in the Bill.

He said that without full compliance, industries will not survive, as both workers and employees are vital to productivity and economic growth and sustainability.

“If we cannot protect the workers, then capital fails; and if we cannot protect the employers who borrow the money and provide the capital, everything fails,” said Mr. Charles.

Workers’ Week 2017 is being observed from May 15 to 23, 2017 to pay tribute to Jamaican workers and the important role they play in socio-economic development. The week culminates on National Labour Day, Tuesday, May 23.

JIS Social