Editorial: Staying healthy and safe

POSTED: 11/23/11 6:35 AM

Occupational Health and Safety seem to have taken on a new prominence and in one day we run a story about staffers here from three key ministries learning about the subject and another about people forced from their jobs because of issues in the workplace. Those who participated in the workshop here should no doubt take note of what happened in Willemstad, but so must employees here.
The reason we say employees should take note is because they are the ones on the front line in the workplace and they know best when something is wrong and how one needs to protect themselves from accidents. Managers, who are away from the front line, are thus wise to have a listening ear when staffers come to them to point out where things need to change and be improved.
It is also important that legislators and government structurally monitor work sites to ensure that current rules are being adhered to and to see where gaps in the current legislation and policies need to be filled out more so that workers can be protected more. The priorities may be numerous, but this one definitely needs attention because an unsafe work environment means more accidents that could remove more and more people from the workforce because they are disabled or dead.
In the process of regulating the government must consider each sector of the economy and ensure that there are specific enough rules to cover that sector. People in each sector must also take the time to know the rules and to comply with them of their own initiative or when instructed to do so by their superiors.
In the end it is in everyone’s interest that the work place is safe so we can all go on being happy, healthy and productive citizens.

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