A new initiative, rolled out
to encourage health and wellness in workplaces across the island of Barbados,
has been recommended to all sectors.
It is the “National Workplace Wellness Policy for Barbados 2019”,
which was launched on 26th February 2019 at the Barbados Workers’ Union
(BWU) headquarters at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St. Michael. BWU General Secretary, Senator Toni Moore,
acknowledging that the Union was proud of the initiative, commended it to
Government ministries and departments as well as private sector companies,
health NGOs and CARICOM neighbours.
Senior Assistant General
Secretary, Orlando “Gabby” Scott, in conveying a message by PAHO’s
Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Godfrey Xuereb, said:
“To achieve wellness, we must ensure that our worksites are conducive to a
healthy environment, not just with regards to air pollution, to ergonomic desks
and to be free from physical hazards.
“But in a Barbados of 2020 where the main causes of disability and
burden of disease is that from non-communicable diseases, we need to also look
at our workplaces as having enabling environments for people to practise
healthy eating, be physically active, not be exposed to tobacco smoke and
ensure that they have a good work life balance to keep them mentally fit.”
Pointing out that the benefits to employers was a productive workforce, he said: “If we don’t stem the scourge of NCDs – especially diabetes and hypertension – we will soon have the most important resource in this country too sick to be productive. Unless we stem the rise of hypertension, and we can only do this through reducing our salt intake and being physically active, we will soon have the majority of our productive age group too ill to produce – be it through disabilities from stroke, be it from having to be on dialysis or from having lower limb amputations.”
In Barbados, an integral component of the OSH system is the National
Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) which facilitates
social dialogue on occupational safety and health issues in Barbados.
NACOSH was established in 1983 in accordance with the
provisions of the Factories Act, 1982. The Terms of Reference defining NACOSH’s
mandate are as follows:
- To make recommendations on matters referred to it by
the Minister, submitted to it by interested parties or pursued by the Committee
by its own initiative.
- To advise the Minister on programmes in the field of
occupational safety, health and hygiene.
- To advise the Minister on policies and procedures in
standard setting and in the development and review of regulations and
guidelines to be used by the Government.
- To review and make recommendations to the Minister on
the introduction of new processes or substances in the workplace.
- To review and make recommendations with regard to the
safety, health and welfare arrangements for specific occupational groups and in
areas where there are no formal health and safety programmes; or where such
programmes are judged to be inadequate.
- To facilitate the creation of public education and
sensitisation programmes on matters of health, safety, welfare and wellness.
- To liaise with other relevant agencies and assist with
the coordination of activities pertaining to occupational health and safety, in
order to prevent duplication of efforts and ensuring the best utilisation of
- To provide a forum to identify and discuss major
issues impacting safety, health and hygiene at the national level and to
formulate ideas to oversee such.
- To conduct an annual self-assessment of its
performance versus its mandate and share that assessment with the Minister of
- to be the link
between the Ministry of Labour and stakeholders who will provide information on
an on-going basis on the state of the safety and health in their respective
departments and industries through their representatives.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. John Murphy will be teaching our 1-day professional development course “Cannabis Legalization – Implications on Workplace Safety” on May 19, 2019, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM with Joanna Tam. Course information can be viewed at the following AIHce link: http://www.aievolution.com/aih1901/index.cfm?do=ev.viewEv&ev=1595.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. John H. Murphy will be teaching our 1-day professional development course “Fentanyl and High Potency Drugs Operational Safety” on May 18, 2019, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at AIHceEXP2019. Course information can viewed at the following AIHCe link: http://www.aievolution.com/aih1901/index.cfm?do=ev.viewEv&ev=1566