The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department of the Ministry of Labour has reported a 16% reduction in work-related fatalities in 2021, a significant reduction when compared to the previous year.
This reduction of workplace fatalities was particularly noted in the mining and construction sectors.
According to reports emanating from the Labour Ministry, at the close of the year 2020, a total of 32 workplace fatalities were recorded across all sectors, with mining being the number one contributor. This was very worrying and as such, immediate steps were taken to address the matter.
The Ministry, through its OSH Department, embarked on a rigorous campaign to create safer workplaces throughout the nation. This was done in conjunction with local businesses and supporting agencies.
Several outreaches and public awareness activities were conducted in mining communities in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine. Many workers were reached with safety and health messages through radio, television and the widespread distribution of brochures, flyers and posters.
Addressing the achievement, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, indicated that work-related deaths are unacceptable and safe workplace practices should top the priority of employers.
Minister Hamilton said based on his observation, while there has been a decrease in the number of fatalities, much more work needs to be done. As such, he said the Ministry will continue to tackle unsafe workplace practices through regular inspections and audits.
He also holds the view that greater collaboration among employers and employees, officers of the Ministry of Labour and partnering/collaborating agencies could contribute significantly to the achievement of an optimally safe, sound, healthy and secure working environment for all levels and categories of workers, in keeping with the Occupational Safety and Health Act Cap 99:06, Laws of Guyana and accompanying regulations.
Minister Hamilton also encouraged workers and employers to maintain a safety climate in workplaces and work towards the development of a safety culture, where everyone would benefit and everyone is “looking out for each other”.