JIS News

Safety practices in the building and construction industry will come under increased scrutiny as the Government moves to ensure the protection of employees on work sites.
According to Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, safety is “serious business” and the Ministry will be ensuring that measures relating to best practices are being carried out.
“We are not going to allow you to continue to work on construction sites without safety gears and the responsibility is both management and worker,” he stated at the launch of a safety manual today (March 16) at the offices of the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica (IMAJ) in Kingston.
Minister Charles said that foreign contractors will be brought under similar scrutiny as they will be expected to follow the same safety procedures. “No foreign contractor will be permitted to come to Jamaica and operate in any way less than the Government requires the Jamaican contractors to work,” he warned.
The Labour Minister encouraged all stakeholders to play a role in ensuring that safety is always maintained within the industry, and urged persons to report to the Ministry whenever the standards are not adhered to.
He also appealed to contractors to reduce injuries by ensuring that workers are provided with the necessary safety gears, while urging workers “to take the initiative and wear them.”
“Where they are not provided,” he continued “ask for them. Safety at the workplace cannot be over-emphasised.”
Commending the IMAJ for producing the manual, Minister Charles noted that while it is important for the construction industry, it can also be used in other areas.
The publication, which outlines best practices in the industry, aims to help companies implement comprehensive programmes to protect their employees on the job. It covers areas such as general safety; personal protective equipment; emergency procedures; fire, electrical cord, ladder and scaffolding safety; machine guarding; traffic control, and heavy equipment safety.
It has graphic illustrations, which make the publication easy to read and understand.
President of the IMAJ, Mr. Raymond Cooper, encouraged all contractors to operate businesses in accordance to the manual, adding that personnel from the HEART Trust/NTA are willing to assist with safety training on sites.
The manual, which cost $150 was also developed in partnership with the Joint Industrial Council for the Building and Construction Industry.
The IMAJ develops and maintains standards for the building and construction industry in the island.

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