24% reduction in workplace fatalities for 2022 so far – Labour Minister

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton

Guyana has seen a 24% reduction in workplace fatalities for the year so far, Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton revealed today during a press conference.

He revealed that so far, 19 persons have lost their lives this year in workplace accidents. The Labour Minister was at the time sharing with the press the findings of the annual report on the work of the Operational Safety and Health Department.

It was revealed that in 2020, 32 persons died in workplace accidents, followed by 27 persons in 2021. In total, 184 workplace accidents were investigated this year.

“To date, there has been a 24 percent decline in the number of fatal accidents when compared to the corresponding period last year. The fatalities occurred in the mining, construction, agriculture, manufacturing and forestry sectors,” the Labour Minister shared.

He added, “It is our position that when workers leave their homes to go to work, there is the expectation of their families that they will return home safely at the end of the work day or work period. This is not always the situation, as can be verified by the number of workplace accidents.”

While efforts have been made to address workplace accidents, the Labour Minister pointed out that more needs to be done.

Some 1,298 inspections were carried out across the 10 administrative regions throughout the year in both the private and public sector – an 85 percent achievement of the inspection target. Meanwhile, 21 complaints in relation to workplace incidents were received and investigated.

Hamilton opined, “While there are breaches in the Occupational Safety and Health Act, in most instances, employers responded positively to the recommendations which were made.”