Address this gap with the utmost urgency

Dear Editor,
As we observe Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Month, it is essential to acknowledge the strides made in this area, while recognizing that significant gaps still exist. While we appreciate the Ministry of Labour’s efforts toward safer workplaces, we have noticed a concerning issue that undermines these efforts. The National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health has not been operational for several months.
The absence of this council is a critical void in our national safety infrastructure. The council plays an important role in creating policies; advising on legislative measures; and ensuring that standards of workplace safety are not only maintained, but also improved in response to new challenges and technologies.
At a time when the role of occupational safety has never been more important, with rapid changes in the industrial sector and increased awareness of workers’ rights and safety, we need a robust advisory body more than ever. The inactivity of the council raises concerns about our commitment to the safety and health of our workforce.
Therefore, while we acknowledge the Ministry’s efforts during OSH Month, we respectfully request immediate action to reinstate the National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health. By doing so, we reinforce our commitment to the safety of every worker, and ensure that our celebrations are backed by substantive support and genuine progress.
We kindly urge the Ministry of Labour to address this gap with the utmost urgency in order to reactivate the council. Our workers deserve a productive and safe working environment, and we appreciate the Ministry’s continued support in this regard. We have just lost another life to a mining pit; again, one too many.

Yours faithfully,
Seepaul Narine
GAWU President