OSH Bill To Promote Compliance Rather Than Punishment

Jamaica News: State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne, says the proposed Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill will seek to promote compliance rather than punishment.

The legislation, which is before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament, is expected to usher in a new paradigm in workplace safety and health across Jamaica. It will set and improve standards to protect workers against sickness, disease and injury arising out of employment, while enhancing productivity.

Mr. Mayne, who was addressing the third instalment of the Red Stripe Knowledge Forum series at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Wednesday (October 23), said that enforcement will be approached through a three-stage process.

This involves providing information, guidance, education and advice; serving improvement, non-disturbance and prohibition notices; and instituting proceedings in a court of law.

He noted that a key feature of the Bill is the introduction of enforceable undertakings.

In appropriate circumstances, a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) can provide a commitment to the Director of Occupational Safety and Health to be appointed, to rectify specified breaches in an agreed time frame.

While the undertaking is in effect, sanctions cannot be implemented with respect to the offence in question.

“The spirit behind the legislation is one of compliance, but bear in mind that if you disregard the notices and the warnings and if you flagrantly contravene the legislation, there will be sanctions,” Mr. Mayne said.

“You will be punished, and the punishment is such that it is going to be prohibitive,” he noted.


Source: JIS News

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