(ZIZ News) – St. Kitts and Nevis will join the rest of the world on Tuesday 28th April in marking World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
It is an annual commemoration which falls under the umbrella of the International Labour Organization, designed to globally promote the prevention of occupational accidents and disease.
Federal Minister of Labour, Hon. Vance Amory, explained the importance of highlighting safety and health at work.
He said, “It is an awareness-raising campaign, intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.”
This year, World Day for Safety and Health at Work is being held under the theme “Join in Building a Culture of Prevention on Occupational Safety and Health.”
Mr. Amory said the theme underscores the critical importance of addressing occupational safety from a preventative angle.
“Such a theme is timely. The time is ripe for us here in the Federation to commence the creation of a preventive culture in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) to ensure safe work places, decent work and also to ensure increase in productivity, diminishing the increasing cost to our social protection schemes but most importantly, to protect the health and safety of people,” he said.
Minister Amory noted that creating this culture of prevention must be a joint effort between all players with a stake in the labour force.
“Building a culture of prevention on Occupational Safety and Health is a joint commitment by government, employees, and employers. It starts at the top and trickles down to the workplaces, the schools and finally the home. It calls for a tripartite approach to creating a national occupational safety and health culture, one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels.
“Governments, private sector employers and workers must actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment, through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties and the highest priority accorded to the principle of prevention,” he stated.
28th April is also the date set aside for the International Commemoration of Dead and Injured Workers. This has been organised by trade union movements since 1996. On this day, workers who have fallen to occupational accidents or diseases are honored.