OSB Members meet with the Minister
Members of the Occupational Health and Safety meet with
Minister Patricia Francourt
The members of the Occupational Health and Safety Board met with the Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, Patricia Francourt on 14th September 2023, to officially present to her a copy of the strategic plan developed with the aim to present the strategic priorities for the Occupational Safety Board for the next five years and highlight the key actions.
In the meeting the chairperson of the board Dr Vanessa Lesperance made a presentation on the newly developed Strategic Plan and officially presented to Minister Francourt the work of the board since inception, and their primary concerns relating to employee well-being and health and safety within the workplace.
Facilitating a presentation, Dr Lesperance detailed the board’s vision and mission. She highlighted the Occupational Safety Board’s role followed by the key actions and strategic priorities for the next five years. To end the presentation, the Chairperson presented the board’s aspiration to witness the creation of an independent Health and Safety Authority to oversee all health and safety related matters in Seychelles.
Board members highlighted that there is a significant gap on the domestic labour market for trained and qualified health and safety personnel, and that the majority of the time, both employers and employees are not aware of the legal requirements, nor their rights. It was also recommended that government institutions should also adopt the current legal obligations to employ Health and Safety Officers. In addition, further recommendations were made to the Minister for legal instruments to be used to require that all organisations irrespective of their number of workers, to employ a Health and Safety Officer or enlist the services of a Health and Safety service provider. The recommendation called for the Health and Safety Officer employed within the organisation to be directly accountable to the Accounting officer of the organisation.
The board members conveyed to the minister their concerns with regards to the Occupational Safety & Health Decree, which needs to be modernised at the soonest. Presently as is, the decree is not up to par with international standards, and permits certain activities which are now considered not safe.
The board comprises of nine members ‒ representatives from government, private sector, employees and employers. Members are presently meeting every couple of months, and are actively pushing for the promotion of safe workplaces, good work practices among employers and employees, and promoting a culture of safety among the general population.