Stakeholder Relationships

5 September 2016

IOSH Caribbean Branch Executive Committee Meeting held on August 30, 2016

The Caribbean Branch Executive Committee (EC) held its monthly meeting on Tuesday 30th August, 2016, at the Massy Wood Group Offices, 15-17 Endeavour 1st Street, Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Gaekward Ramoutar, Chief Inspector at the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) was guest speaker. Mr. Ramoutar’s presentation was as a result of OSHA’s strategic focus and initiative to strengthen relationships with stakeholders and as a follow-up to statements made by the Chairman of OSHA, Dr. Victor Coombs, at the Branch’s Annual General Meeting.

The theme of Mr. Ramoutar’s presentation was “Stakeholders Relationships” with reference to the ILO Convention 81 which promotes the effective co-operation and collaboration amongst all stakeholders with the aim of fostering and building relationships (Article 5).

Mr. Ramoutar began by explaining the duties and functions of the OSH Inspectors which are so often misunderstood and also the impact other legal instruments have on the OSH Act No.1 of 2004 as Amended 2006 viz-a-viz, the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 48.50 regarding accidents on the Nation’s roads and, the Fire Service Act, Chapter 35.50, regarding the issuance of a fire certificate. He also outlined the Agency’s “Compliance Programme 2015-2016” (profiling and rating) and version 3 of an Inspector’s Field Manual Risk Rating Procedure; information which he will make available to the IOSH CB. He stressed the importance of Inspectors submitting reports on completion of inspection activities (Article 19 of the ILO Convention 81). He mentioned concerns that arose out of statistics and were important to the Agency such as Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), near-misses that present imminent danger and Contractor Safety Management. He was also happy to report that there was a Major Hazard Unit in the Agency responsible for ensuring compliance and risk management of Major Hazard Industrial Establishments and that the Agency prepared a Checklist for the Process Plant/Major Hazard Industry that will be made available to the IOSH CB.

There was much interaction and discussion on these matters as Mr. Ramoutar sought to clarify the misconceptions and misinformation held by stakeholders.

He further explained the following sections of the OSH Act No.1 of 2004, as Amended 2006, which are very often misinterpreted:

Section 15 – Refusal to Work

Section 25K – Health surveillance (Health Monitoring)

Section 25G – Risk Assessment (what is a suitable and sufficient assessment of risks?)

Section 46:1 – Notification of Accidents

Section 48 – Notification of occupational diseases

Section 48:3 – (work-related illnesses with reference to Schedule 1)

He also stated those Regulations identified for prioritization:

  • Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment (LOLER)
  • Safety of Pressure Systems Regulations
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)
  • Contractor Safety Management (CSM)
  • Safety Committee & Safety Representatives Regulations
  • Notification of Accidents, Dangerous Occurrences and Diseases Regulations
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
  • Working at Height
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
  • Ionising Radiation Regulations (IRR)

Mention was also made of “Risk Acceptance Criteria”, the “effectiveness of controls”, a “Regulatory Impact Assessment” and the need for the effective implementation of safety and health committees in companies

A healthy discourse ensued between the EC members and the Chief Inspector and the meeting concluded with a mutual desire to strengthen the relationship between TT OSHA and the IOSH CB. The Chair, Mr Curt Cadet, expressed his sincere thanks and a commitment to continue to explore avenues to enhance the relationship.