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first_imgStory Highlights “The Justice Ministry recently gave indication that steps are being taken to finalise the drafting of the OSH Bill by month-end. This means that the target for enacting this legislation within this legislative year is still achievable, and I pledge to work harder to bring this matter to fruition,” The Bill will set the groundwork for the protection of all workers in all spheres of economic activities, and will comprehensively address all occupational hazards. Plans remain on track for enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act within this legislative year, says Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier. Plans remain on track for enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act within this legislative year, says Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier.“The Justice Ministry recently gave indication that steps are being taken to finalise the drafting of the OSH Bill by month-end. This means that the target for enacting this legislation within this legislative year is still achievable, and I pledge to work harder to bring this matter to fruition,” he stated.Mr. Kellier, who was addressing a breakfast meeting at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston on October 16, said the Government is committed to putting the legislation in place, which will provide the framework for securing the safety and health of workers in the workplace and other connected areas.The Bill will set the groundwork for the protection of all workers in all spheres of economic activities, and will comprehensively address all occupational hazards.It covers a broader range of considerations than the existing Factories Act, to protect workers on the job and define working conditions. It also establishes a joint Health and Safety Council that monitors the safety and well-being of workers.Mr. Kellier pointed out that safe and healthy workers are the most productive “and so we work assiduously to ensure the protection of workers and promote wellness at the workplace.”The Labour and Social Security Minister noted that in recent times, one major workplace concern has been HIV and AIDS, which statistics show, is most prevalent in the 15 to 49 age group, when people are in their most productive years.He said the OSH Bill specifically makes it a responsibility for workplaces to help reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination, including prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse, and maltreatment directed at people living with the disease.“As leaders and managers and change agents in your organisation, we need you to understand that where workers are free from stigma and discrimination on the basis of real or perceived HIV status, they can lead long and productive lives and contribute significantly to their communities and the national economy,” he pointed out.Mr. Kellier further noted that the OSH Bill encourages all worksites to employ any standard that will protect the health and safety of workers and the customers and clients they serve.“The international standard for food handlers is HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), and as you are all aware, the process for HACCP certification includes a pre-requisite about personnel, with specific reference to hygiene policy. One cannot obtain HACCP certification without compliance regarding communicable and non-communicable disease,” he said.Mr. Kellier informed that the Ministry has been pro-active in educating and preparing employers and employees for the legislation through its Voluntary Compliance Programme.The breakfast meeting was organised by the Ministry in collaboration with the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) and sought to increase awareness at the highest corporate level, about occupational safety and health issues, and the need to reduce levels of stigma and discrimination in the food service industry.last_img read more


first_imgStory Highlights The Government has hailed the success of the World Bank-funded Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), which was implemented locally by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) from January 2010 to July 2017.The US$15 million programme, which was pivotal in facilitating improved market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers and tourism projects, was geared towards reducing poverty by increasing potential earning opportunities for persons, particularly in rural communities.Speaking at the recent closing ceremony/symposium for the REDI project at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the partnership facilitating the initiative’s implementation has resulted in effective and meaningful changes in the beneficiaries’ communities.He noted that REDI “falls in tandem with the Government’s commitment to move the nation from a state of dependence on lower forms of capital, to creating the environment where higher forms of capital are achieved, especially through entrepreneurship.”The Minister pointed out that through the introduction of technologies and accompanying training in their usage, persons in rural areas have been empowered to utilise their skills and talents to gain financially while embracing and promoting Jamaica’s culture.Dr. Chang said the REDI project’s focus on assisting farmers develop and earn from their activities was one of the initiative’s most notable inputs.Additionally, he said investments facilitated in rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation systems, among other agricultural developments, have assisted in boosting production, resulting in significant income generation that will ultimately redound to the benefit of Jamaica’s economic growth agenda.“This is in line with our Vision 2030 mission which is to create an environment and engage initiatives to strengthen critical sectors such as agriculture and tourism (in order) to (set) the country on a stable path to economic growth,” the Minister underscored.Dr. Chang said JSIF’s piloting of the REDI project has helped the country to move closer to achieving its development goals by “facilitating the strengthening of the supply chain linkages between the agricultural sector and end users in processing, tourism, fast food chains, restaurants and supermarkets, and families.”He further noted that the REDI project has supported the development of community-based tourism as a viable option and opportunity for economic investment.“The project has certainly strengthened the capacity of rural groups to be able to plan and implement income-generating projects, (thereby) ensuring greater sustainability of rural development through inter -agency collaboration,” he added.Dr. Chang further pointed out that two of the main guiding principles of the Vision 2030 Jamaica- National Development Plan, sustainability and partnerships – have been evident in the initiative.For this reason he said “the Government is keen to continue supporting and endorsing projects, such as REDI, which has made a valuable impact in rural communities and the country.” Speaking at the recent closing ceremony/symposium for the REDI project at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the partnership facilitating the initiative’s implementation has resulted in effective and meaningful changes in the beneficiaries communities. The Government has hailed the success of the World Bank-funded Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), which was implemented locally by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) from January 2010 to July 2017. Dr. Chang said the REDI project’s focus on assisting farmers develop and earn from their activities was one of the initiative’s most notable inputs.last_img read more