Government departments start business controlsPOSTED: 09/28/12 12:33 PM
St. Maarten – Six government departments plan to carry out inspections of businesses starting this upcoming Monday. The inspectorates of public health, social development, labor and food safety, the tax and fire department, and teams from Vromi and Economic Affairs focusing on building safety and the environment will take part in the controls.
The teams will be looking at employee health and safety on the job; food safety (proper storage of food, hygienic work stations, preparations procedures); tax compliance (registration of the business at the tax department, registration of employees and a quick scan of the internal control with regards to sales); administration (business licence, work schedule, personnel list, labor registry, resident and employment permits, business licence), state and use of the building, waste management, fire safety, like the number of and state of fire exits (shouldn’t be blocked and free of any obstructions like combustible material), fire extinguishers (serviced annually by a certified company, and must be properly labelled when the certification took place and must be written in the Dutch or English language).
Businesses must meet certain operation standards and maintain safety codes which are mainly stated in their operational license.
The objective of the inspections are to guarantee quality service to residents and visitors on the island, assuring that establishments currently operating and serving the public, are adhering to the rules and regulations that govern their operations.
Violations which do not have an immediate impact on the business and customers will result in a warning and a specific amount of time will be granted to the business to comply.
Major hazardous situations discovered during the inspection will result in immediate closure. After closure, the business will have to contact the department of economic affairs to request a re-inspection.
Inspections will continue on a regular basis. “The joint multi-disciplinary team is looking forward towards the full cooperation of the business community and is requesting that they have all the required permits and other administrative documentation on hand to present to officials when they visit their establishment,” the government stated in a press release.