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Make safety in the office environment a priority – George

Make safety in the  office environment a priority – George

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The health and safety of persons employed in an office setting should be of as much importance as the safety of those based in other surroundings, Brian George, a member of the VINLEC board of directors says.{{more}}

George, who delivered remarks during the opening of the company’s National Occupational Safety and Health conference, at the National Insurance Services conference room on May 14, said health and safety in the production environment was high on the agenda for the two-day conference.

“I noted that many of the traditional sectors, manufacturing, energy, construction are represented, I think perhaps it may be time to consider the office work environment for discussion.

“Too many offices across this country, in particular government offices are unsafe. I see electrical cables, I see fans; there was a particular incident with a Chinese fan… and the type of environment that we are asking staff and employees to work in.

“Ergonomics, repetitive strain injuries are all considerations that we need to pay attention to.”

George said that employee attitude towards occupational health and safety also needs to be addressed.

Giving examples of workers having the wrong approach to their safety on the job, the director said that although progress has been made, there is still work to be done.

“On a project which I was on a few years ago, we took the initiative to provide the employees with hard hats. I recall that when I made a visit to one of these sites around lunchtime, not only had they taken out the inserts and thrown down the hard hats, one individual was actually eating callaloo soup in it.

“At another post which I held where we provided steel tip boots for employees…. This particular employee took his boots, wore them to come to work all polished… changed his shoes to either slippers or inappropriate piece of footwear, used that throughout the day, and when it was time to go back home he would put on the steel tip boots….

“Measures and strategies need to be developed for changing the employees’ attitudes…. All the work is in vain if it falls on deaf ears of the primary persons we are trying to protect,” George noted.

During the conference, a number of issues relating to occupational safety and health were discussed by way of panel discussions, lectures and interactive sessions.

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) commemorates Occupational Safety and Health month in May each year. (JJ)

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