Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
May 01, 2008 (SKNIS)
St. Kitts and Nevis joined with other countries of the world in celebrating World Day for Health and Safety at Work, yesterday.
The day was celebrated internationally under the theme “My Life, My Work, My Safe Work, Managing Risks in the Work Environment.” In St. Kitts, the Labour Department, the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Board came together to host a symposium under the theme “The Merits of Managing Risks in the Work Environment.
Just about 74 participants attended the session which took place at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI).
According to Acting Commissioner of Labour Mr. Spencer Amory, the International Labour Organisation places high priority on the health and safety of employees. He said the symposium was intended to create awareness and sensitize persons in the workplace, which he said is vital at this point in time when the economies of the region will be coming together in the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME). He further noted that certain issues such as injury, illness and accidents associated with work would be addressed.
Director of Social Security Ms. Sephlin Lawrence stressed the goal of her Statutory Body when it came to workplace safety. She maintained that healthy workers turn out to work which ensures that the employers bottom line is secure and the business is stable. She said that Social Security is not implementing changes along the lines of safe workplace environments but it will continue to collaborate toward that end.
Mr. Chesyl Hamiliton, Manager of the Social Security Public Relations Department said that the symposium brought together a cross-section of stakeholders from the sectors of commerce, trades, industry, hotels and construction in both the public and private domain. He said that three presentations were delivered by Spencer Amory Acting Labour Commissioner, Sylvester Belle Environmental Health Officer, Clifford Thomas former Labour Commissioner and Elvin Bailey Assistant Director of Statistics, Research and Public Relations. The objective was for participants to gain information from the presentations as well as to exchange ideas.
As such, the afternoon session involved a panel discussion with the presenters from the morning session in addition to Inspector Venetta Wyatt of the St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Traffic Department and Wendy Phipps of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.