National Workplace Wellness Policy for Barbados 2019

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.”


National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. To advise the Minister on programmes in the field of occupational safety, health and hygiene.
  3. 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.
  4. To review and make recommendations to the Minister on the introduction of new processes or substances in the workplace.
  5. 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.
  6. To facilitate the creation of public education and sensitisation programmes on matters of health, safety, welfare and wellness.
  7. 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 resources.
  8. 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.
  9. To conduct an annual self-assessment of its performance versus its mandate and share that assessment with the Minister of Labour; and
  10. 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.