The Ministry of Health has included occupational health and safety as a priority in its corporate plan for the next ten years.
The Environmental Health Department is charged with the responsibility of coordinating the implementation of the health and safety programme at workplaces throughout the island.
Chief Medical Officer Dr.David Johnson says this is being done as part of the Ministry’s mandate to develop policies and guidelines to improve the health of workers on the island.
“The aim is to create awareness on safe work environments among the entire population which will serve as a platform to implement our workers health program”.
Dr.Johnson says further that the Environmental health department is collaborating with other agencies to develop strategies which would guide health and safety at the workplace over the next ten years.
The Environmental Health Department recently conducted a series of workshops with professionals involved in a number of key industries in Dominica.
Dr.Johnson says the department is also working to strengthen its legal regulatory framework to ensure the optimal health and safety of all categories of workers in the workplace.
Additionally the Ministry of Health according to Dr.Johnson is looking to establish a national occupational health and safety committee.
“That committee is expected to comprise of representatives from labor division, labor unions, members of the private sector and the environmental health department”.
On June 28, 2012 the Environmental Health Department through an awards ceremony held at the Sutton Place hotel in Roseau recognized a number of companies operating in Dominica for their contribution to health and safety practices within the workplace.
The Dominica Coconut Products, Josephine Gabriel and Co Ltd, DOMLEC, Clear Harbor, Petro Caribe, Waterfront and Allied Workers Union, Carib Sand and Stone Ltd, Public Service Union, National Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd all received recognition plaques.
Government entities were also recognized for their collaboration with the environmental health department in occupational health and safety .The Environmental health department recognized the work of the Youth Development Division, the Fire and Ambulance service Department and the Physical Planning Division.
Community Service awards were given to the YES group of Woodfordhill, Mr. Hague Thomas, the Labour Division and the Vielle Case Village council.
Environmental health officers were also recognized for outstanding contributions to the occupational health and safety programme.