An exhibition highlighting workplaces in the public and private sector and a ceremony on health and safety in the workplace are activities slated to take place as the Territory observes World Day for Safety and Health at Work on Tuesday, April 28.
The Health, Safety and Wellness Subcommittee of the BVI Health and Wellness Advisory Council will be introduced at a brief ceremony to be held at 9:30 a.m. There will also be an exhibition which will highlight workplaces in the public and private sector, and the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours and habits for workplace activities.
Chair of the subcommittee, Mr. Kenton Callwood, said that it is important for persons to understand that health and safety involves the collaboration and cooperation of governments, employers and employees. He said that through the work of the committee, efforts will be coordinated to improve occupational health and safety.
Mr. Callwood added, “We must empower and educate our essential human resources, persons who work and who drive our economy, so that they can help to prevent or delay the onset of chronic illness that can be caused by workplace hazards.”
Coordinator of Health Promotion Services at the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Ms. Ivy George, stated that this particular observance is one of four activities the committee will spearhead this year to strengthen workers’ health and safety. Ms George added, “We have long before observed this day within Government, and I am happy to be a part of the coordinating team that will help to initiate awareness and cooperation with the Private Sector this time around.”
Meanwhile, Health and Safety Coordinator with the Department of Human Resources Ms. Sylvia George, is encouraging persons to be safe using the acronym SAFE - Spot the Hazards, Assess the Risks, Find a Safer Way, Everyday.
Ms George said that in the Culture of Prevention on occupational safety, health workers are reminded that they have four main responsibilities. “First is the responsibility to self not to get injured. Second is a responsibility to our families. Third is a responsibility to co-workers and finally the responsibility to the organisation. Employee injury has a negative impact on the productivity and health of the whole organization.”
The Government of the Virgin Islands through the Human Resources Department has been leading the observations of the International Labour Organisation’s World Day for Health and Safety at Work since 2009. The importance of Safety at Work was also highlighted this month as the Public Information and Awareness sub-committee of the National Disaster Management Council hosted its ‘Workplace Safety” campaign.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to creating a healthier Territory.