Ministry of Employment & Social Affairs

Employment Department

Safety Week Message 2021

To be commemorated from the 11th to the 22nd October 2021

Every day, we are faced with choices; decisions, from routine to the major, that set the stage for safety. While some of the choices may be second nature, like fastening seat belts, double-checking harnesses or wearing the right gloves on the job, others require practice before becoming habit.

During this year’s Safety Week, the Ministry continues to intensify its efforts in sensitizing both employers and workers in adopting good safety practices and inculcating a safety culture in all work processes with the ultimate output of ensuring that safety and health gradually finds its importance within the organization.

At this time we are reminded that we need to change our current perspective of how safety and health should be viewed noting that it goes beyond the obvious hazards such as ergonomics and electrical safety, but should henceforth be seen in a broader aspect to also include global pandemics, notably new threats brought forth with the sudden appearance of COVID-19 since 2020 which is affecting all parts of the world including workplaces.

Having outlined the above and noting the current context of the COVID-19 global outbreak, circumstances are unique and distinctive from previous pandemics which necessitates emphasis on the need for workplaces to continue to review and re-inforce infection prevention control measures in order to prevent or minimize workplace transmission. Employers should therefore continuously assess the risk at workplace level ensuring protection of its workers and clients respectively with the aim of maintaining productivity.

It is worth mentioning that the necessary legal and policy framework are in place and should be followed at all times to minimize the risks posed by different hazards that exist. Nonetheless, to enforce and compliment these framework, the Labour Monitoring and Compliance Section within the Employment Department have continued to intensify its workplace inspection programmes. Statistics outlines that the frequency of workplace inspections have doubled from 507 visits conducted in 2019 to 808 visits in 2020. Work is in progress for emphasis of safety inspections to be intensified in high risk sectors namely the construction industry and workplace using radioactive sources.

To launch this year’s safety week, I take the opportunity to re-emphasize the need for both employers and workers to adhere to the required legal obligations currently in place whilst the Employment Department continues to strengthen its available resources in bringing safety and health at par with the required standards.

I encourage everyone to commit ourselves to safety because it is not just our personal safety we hold in our hands; the choices we make – the ones we recognize and those we do not, impact our co-workers, our family, our community and our economy. This responsibility is what inspires us to always do things the right way, the safe way.

I urge that we all continue in adhering to health protocols in place and wishing you all a fruitful participation in this year’s safety week.