Call for safe work conditions

As Government moves to provide 10 000 homes for Barbadians, Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dwight Sutherland is urging contractors to ensure they are providing a safe environment for construction workers.

Sutherland made the call as he noted that based on his experience working in the private sector, workers were most productive when they felt safe.

The St George South representative was speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday during debate on the Safety and Health at Work (Amendment) Bill 2022.

“I am calling on my contractors on a daily basis to examine how you go to work, how you deploy your workers, that they are indeed wearing the necessary personal and protective equipment that will protect them and allow them to continue to put bread on the table,” the minister said.

“Because when you leave home to go to work, you have your children to look after, that’s why you are going to work to be the man and the woman in the house to pay the bills . . . .”

Sutherland said Government “has brought legislation and regulations to ensure that the contractors follow the necessary guidelines . . . to ensure their safety and also their workers’ safety”.

“If we create a culture of safety as we seek to build these 10 000 homes, I guarantee you that we will be successful and we will not be looking to speak to losing a limb, losing a life or going home to tell a family member . . . that [they] have just lost a loved one,” he said.

Sutherland urged companies to provide safe conditions because “when workers are satisfied with the working conditions, and they feel safe from injuries, they become more productive”. (SC)

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