Tripartite stakeholder consultation on the Trinidad & Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act, Chapter 88:08 (TT OSH Act)

The Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Authority and Agency, hosted a tripartite stakeholder consultation on the Trinidad & Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act, Chapter 88:08, at the Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain on 21-22 March 2017.  

The IOSH Caribbean Branch was invited to participate in this exercise as a recognised stakeholder for the development and promotion of Health and Safety. Mr. Curt Cadet, Chair, represented the Caribbean Branch at the consultation. 

The specific objectives of the consultation were to discuss principles and policies that ought to be considered in the development and amendment of the legislation. 

There were 14 focus areas identified for discussion:
i) Updating of definitions
ii) Amending subsidiary legislation
iii) Structure of the OSH Agency and Authority 
iv) Review of powers of inspectors
v) Certificates required 
vi) Updating the list of occupational diseases
vii) Updating of forms 
viii) Medical Inspectors 
ix) Notification and investigation of accidents and occupational diseases 
x) Prosecution of occupational safety and health offences
xi) Notices issued under Section 74
xii) Review and updating of fines
xiii) Limitation periods of enforcement proceedings 
xiv) Consideration for the inclusion of workplace related stress within the list of occupational diseases

Notable recommendations for improvement that were made by Mr. Curt Cadet on behalf of  the CB were:

  • Internship for OSH Inspectors;
  • The Ministry of Labour to consider establishing a mechanism for an OSH advisory body;
  • Fix/operationalize the existing legislation;
  • Revocation of archaic regulations, bringing modern regulations into practice.

In addition, the Branch submitted written recommendations for the improvement and interpretation of the legislation and has embarked on an exercise to further critically examine the legislation to provide a more thorough opinion.