The Ministry of Social Protection’s Labour Department has re-engaged stakeholders on the draft noise occupational safety and health regulations.
The two-day consultative session was today declared open by Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott at the Herdmanston Lodge.
With a focus on noise in the workplace, Minister Scott highlighted the intent of the consultative sessions.
“The first one is to reduce the incidents and severity of occupational noise induce hearing loss resulting from excessive exposure of workers to noise in the workplace; to require employers to assess and control the risk arising from excessive exposure of workers to noise in the workplaces; and to reduce the exposure of workers to noise,” Minister Scott said.
He urged key stakeholders to work collaboratively with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in controlling and reducing noise pollution at the national level.
Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health, Earl Morris pointed out that hearing loss has been an issue locally since many workers are exposed to noise pollution.
“Therefore, an effective plan for hearing protection is clearly necessary and should include education and training, compulsory use of protection device backup by regulation.”
Morris highlighted that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 360 million persons have suffered hearing loss due to noise pollution; of that number 32 million are children.
International Labour Organization (ILO) Consultant, Lennox Marcelle also emphasised the use of protective gear in the workplace as he reiterated the government’s role in ensuring companies, not in compliance with the laws, face suitable sanctions.
Images: Giovanni Gajie