Following a workplace inspection conducted by the Ministry of Social Protection just over one week ago (13th February, 2018) on the Guyana Stores Limited (GSL), the commercial enterprise was issued with an ultimatum to rectify the breaches which were observed.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the inspection, which was spearhead by the Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Mr. Keith Scott, unearthed infractions of the Labour Act Chapter 98:01 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Chapter 99:10.
Those breaches include the absence of a Health and Safety Policy, the absence of required records such and accident and wages registers which are required by law to be kept by employers, and a failure to have a fire extinguisher in place.
Most disturbing of all the breaches were the unsafe and insanitary working conditions which obtained. For example, there were holes in the walls of the ablution area which also had stagnant water on the floor posing a danger to the health and safety of employees, non-functioning toilets and few working fans and light, DPI said.
Notwithstanding the issuance of oral advice to remedy all observed breaches; the management of Guyana Stores Limited (GSL) was issued with a written ultimatum to correct the infractions within three (3) weeks beginning 15th February, 2018 or face prosecution for same.
The Ministry of Social Protection has reiterated that it has no intention to compromise with the health and safety of the nation’s work force and will do everything possible to enhance workers’ protection.
Apart from Guyana Stores Limited being asked to make good all infractions, other employers are being encouraged to enhance the level of Social Protection which they provide to their employees, DPI said.