Information Officer II
Dept. of Information & Public Relations
Telephone: 468- 2740
The Government of the Virgin Islands continues to promote workplace health and safety and is reminding the private sector of its statutory obligation under Part IX of the Labour Code, 2010 – Health Safety & Welfare.
Part IX of the code outlines various requirements that Labour Inspectors are to assess during inspections. These include: Health & Safety Policy (Section 138, 135), Risk Assessment (Section 137), Establishment of Joint Workplace Health & Safety Committee (Section 153), Emergency Plans (Section 135), Fire Extinguishers (Section 140),OSH documentation (Registers) (Section 167) and PPE Provisions (Sections 135 & 142)
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering said, “We cannot continue to conduct business ‘as usual’ following two major hurricanes. The Labour Code 2010 is structured to protect workers, but in a very real sense, a good occupational health and safety programme improves businesses’ resilience and ability to recognise the measures needed to remain compliant. I applaud the efforts of the Labour Commissioner and her team as they highlight this very important aspect of the Code.”
Labour Commissioner Ms. Janice Rymer said health and safety is an integral part of any organisation’s operations.
She added “Under the Labour Code, 2010, businesses desirous of operating in the Territory are required by law to fulfil specific statutory obligations. In an effort to assess and gain national compliance, Labour Inspectors will assess businesses against these standards.”
An Occupational Health and Safety Sub-Committee was activated to address the health, safety and well-being of workers, especially those who are the most vulnerable to occupational diseases and accidents.
The sub-committee, established under the Virgin Islands Health and Wellness Advisory Council is expected to aid in strengthening the development of occupational health and safety Territory-wide. This will be accomplished under the council, as it has the national scope to provide leadership, coordination, planning, training, policies and strategies that will improve the workplace environment and workforce population throughout in the Territory.
Chairman of the sub-committee and Deputy Labour Commissioner, Mrs. Michelle Mc Lean further stated that the body is pleased to partner with the Labour Department in fulfilling its mandate to promote health and safety, and is going further by collaborating with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and Dynamic 360 Services to conduct training for the Private Sector.
“This training will help businesses to become compliant with the health and safety requirements of the Labour Code, 2010,” she stated.
Businesses are encouraged to register for the 2-hour accredited health and safety training being offered by the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Sub-Committee in collaboration with H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and Dynamic 360 Support Services. The training will be held on Tuesday, November 27, and Thursday, November, 29 at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Interested businesses are encouraged to register via email with Mrs. Veronique Forbes-King at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Jasmattie Yamraj at email@example.com.