You are here
In-Corr-Tech talks OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) is the body, set up by the OSH Act, to implement the provisions of the Act and enforce safety laws at worksites throughout T&T. The Act was first laid in Parliament in 2003, passed in 2004, yet only fully proclaimed in 2007 after a partial proclamation in 2006.
But how exactly does the OSHA legislation affect you? What are the employee and employer responsibilities and legal duties? What are your rights as an employee? What are the implications of breaking health and safety laws?
Benefits of OSHA legislation:
• Employer responsibilities are outlined to ensure a healthy and safe environment.
• Employees are trained and competent in their tasks and face less risk to suffer injury.
• Higher productivity, reduced loss time injuries (LTI’s)
• Fines/penalties act as a deterrent to those who would otherwise be non-compliant.
• Ensure safety of plant and systems of work.
• Provide arrangements for safe use, handling, storage and transport of equipment, machinery, articles and substances.
• Provide appropriate personal protective clothing or devices.
• Provide the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision.
• Maintain a safe workplace and ensure the provision of safe means of access and egress.
• If you are exposed to imminent danger you have a right to refuse work.
• If you think there is a safety and health problem in your workplace you should first discuss it with your employer, supervisor or manager. You may also wish to discuss it with your safety representative.
• If you think your employer is exposing you to risks or is not carrying out legal duties, and you have pointed this out without getting a satisfactory answer, you can contact OSHA.
However, the employee has legal responsibilities such as taking reasonable care for his/her own safety and the health of others, co-operating with your employer on safety and health issues and correctly using work items provided by your employer, including PPE, in accordance with training or instructions.
When incidents occur, it is mandatory to have it reported. Where an injury occurs during the course of employment, results in death or critical injury, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency needs to be immediately informed via telephone, fax or email and sent a written notice within forty-eight (48) hours of learning of the incident. One of the most common reported incidents in Trinidad & Tobago involves Hoists and Lifts or their lifting accessories. The legislation mandates that a licensed Competent Person (one with sufficient experience, recognised by the Board of Engineering and certified by the Minister in the Ministry of Labour) inspects and certifies such equipment or its accessories once every 12 months and in the case for lifting personnel, once every 6 months.
The manufacturer/distributor of the hoist/lift or any accessory such as a sling or shackle is NOT authorised to inspect and certify from a statutory standpoint. Moreover, lifting equipment operators are required to be trained and certified by licensed Competent Persons ONLY. In-Corr-Tech Ltd, based in San Fernando conducts such training and certification utilising three (3) full time licensed Competent Persons.
Failure to adhere to the OSH requirements can result in significant fines and penalties of up to $100,000.00 or three years imprisonment. In some cases, a fine and one year imprisonment is applicable. It is worth mentioning that there have been cases where litigation has resulted in settlements in excess of one million dollars relating to OSH matters.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.