An Occupational Health and Safety policy for Saint Lucia will be launched on April 28, 2017, as this country joins in observing the day as Occupational Health and Safety Day.
Andres Griffith, the Occupational Health and Safety Specialist in the Department of Labour, said that the policy is important as it is in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, number 37 of 2006.
The policy will be launched in the aftermath of last month’s deadly explosion at Cul de Sac.
“It is something that is under investigation – we cannot say anything about how the situation happened until now,” the labour department specialist said, adding that investigators have ‘certain information’ but continue trying to find out what was the main cause of the accident.
Griffith explained that the occupational health and safety policy will address how the work environment can become safer.
“Intervention will be the key of this policy, working to help minimise occupational accidents and diseases – that is the main objective of this policy,” Griffith said.
He disclosed that there was a national consultation in October last year in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and local stakeholders, followed by three meetings that were held in Castries, Vieux Fort and Soufriere where the policy was discussed and a final draft was later agreed.
“Everybody was on board,” the labour department official said.
Griffith stressed the need to be more proactive rather than reactive in the matter of occupational health and safety.
He expressed the view that the only way to be proactive is for officials to be more in the field.