To mark the World Day for Health and Safety at Work observed annually on 28 April, the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms organised a workshop, today, at the Westin Turtle Bay Hotel in Balaclava, with a view to promoting a strong occupational safety and health culture in the public service. This year’s theme is Act together to build a positive and safety and health culture.
The Minister of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms, Mr Teeruthraj Hurdoyal, the Secretary for Public Service, Mr Bojrazsingh Boyramboli, and the Director of the Safety and Health Unit of the Ministry, Mr Seeneevassen Coolen, were present at opening the ceremony.
The workshop is part of a series of activities organised from 21 to 28 April 2022 by several Ministries and Departments to observe the Safety and Health Week comprising simulation exercises, medical screenings and sensitisation campaigns. Chairpersons of Safety and Health Committees as well as representatives from Occupational Safety and Health Management Steering Committees are attending the workshop.
On that occasion, recognition trophies were remitted to Ministries and Departments for organising the best event for the Safety and Health Week.
In his keynote address, Minister Hurdoyal dwelt on the objective of the workshop which is to raise awareness and build capabilities of all participating Ministries and Departments to contribute towards a safe and healthy workplace culture. The workshop, he elaborated, is providing an opportunity for participants to take stock of good practices while reviewing their action plan for integrating a safety and health culture. The formulation of a roadmap with appropriate and sustainable solutions was also highlighted by the Minister.
Regarding initiatives undertaken to ensure an enabling working environment, he spoke of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Management System which is currently being implemented by the Ministry across the public service to provide organisations with a tool for implementing safety and health standards at the workplace. “The OSH system is being implemented at the level of different Ministries and Departments covering 77 worksites”, he added.
Minister Hurdoyal reiterated that the protection of workers remains a top priority of Government. The Ministry is committed to mitigate the risks of health-relaraleted illness and injury at the workplace as well as to remain abreast of new challenges, he assured. To this end, he listed out several governmental initiatives to promote a safer workplace including: the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2005, the setting up of Occupational Safety and Health Committees, and the implementation of the Enhancement of Work Environment Programme and training programmes.
He appealed to stakeholders for a collective effort and to be even more proactive and committed in ensuring a safe and healthy public service.
Mr Boyramboli, for his part, highlighted the importance of fostering occupational health and safety in the public service. With the outbreak of the COVID-19, he indicated that the Ministry has come up with sanitary protocols to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
As for Mr Coolen, he pointed out that workplace accidents are preventable and emphasised that the participation of key players in protecting the working environment through social dialogue is essential to promote a health and safety culture.