A contingent from the Ministry of Labour is hoping that a workshop on Health and Safety in the Workplace will create a document that will provide Grenada with the opportunity to get onto the ILO Convention 155.
The workshop, held at the Public Workers Building in Tanteen, saw officials from the Ministry of Labour deliver presentations on different aspects of Health Safety in the Workplace.
Senior Labour Officer in the Ministry of Labour, Reginald Lord told participants, he hoped that the Cabinet of Ministers would accept the document that will be presented to them.
“What we intend to get out of this workshop is a document that we would present to Cabinet to get the government to fall in line with the ILO Convention 155 – that is the ultimate intention of this workshop”, he said.
“…A lot of issues are going to come out here and I hope that when the minister gets the document in his hands, he would move speedily in order to ensure that legislation is put in place to ensure we have a safe work environment and the social security system in Grenada does not fall apart,” he added.
Minister of Labour, Elvin Nimrod who is also the island’s Deputy Prime Minister delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony of the workshop.
The senior government minister reminded participants that it is not left only to the employer to provide a safe working environment but the onus is also on employees to adhere to the safety rules placed in the office.
According to Minister Nimrod, it can cost the country and some families millions of dollars when someone gets injured on the job.
“The statistic is very alarming, I’m told that every fifteen seconds someone dies because of lack of adequate safety measures in the workplace. I am told that every fifteen seconds 10 persons receive injuries or job related injuries because of lack of adequate safety measures or adherence there to,” he remarked.
Minister Nimrod stressed the need for people to be very careful with the use of chemicals because it is very dangerous.
“We live in a modern society now where for instance chemical has become a very integral part in our industrial production but yet for all, I think we take it sometime for granted. We handle chemicals as if it just water and it’s not dangerous.
“…I think it is important that all of us become aware of the potential danger that chemicals can pose to us if not carefully used or handled we know the consequences.
“…We must also be concerned about the disposal of chemical containers in our waters or rivers etc because over time of course like, it or not we would be affected by these chemicals.
The labour minister stated that everyone needs to be vigilant when it comes to work safety.
“It is basic, it is fundamental and if all of us adhere to what is required of us, I am sure that each individual involved or employed would be much safer and of course the country will be better in the end,” he said.
The Number Two man in the 18-month old New National Party (NNP) administration made a plea for the information gathered during the workshop be made available to the public.
“This workshop is a very important one and I do hope and I’m sure that all the participants would give due regard to the importance of this workshop and the knowledge that you’ve gained here this morning ought to be shared with others because you were fortunate enough to have the benefit of being here but there are many others who need to hear, who need to understand what is going on in terms of this very important subject,” said Nimrod.