The Occupational Safety and Health Act

Challenges with Compliance 14 Years Later

01 March 2018

The IOSH Caribbean Branch hosted a branch meeting on 23rd February, 2018 at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Invaders Bay, Audrey Jeffers Highway, Port of Spain.

Curt Cadet, Senior Manager, HSSE, National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited and IOSH CB Chair, delivered the feature presentation entitled "The Occupational Safety and Health Act: Challenges with compliance 14 years later".

Mr. Curt Cadet , IOSH CB Chair, delivering the feature presentation at the IOSH CBM

Mr. Cadet noted that in 2017, the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Authority and Agency, hosted a series of tripartite stakeholder consultations on the TT OSH Act, with a view of amending the legislation.

The IOSH Caribbean Branch was invited to participate in one of these sessions as a recognised stakeholder for the development and promotion of Health and Safety. Mr. Cadet represented the IOSH Caribbean Branch at this consultation.

Notable issues with the Act and recommendations for improvement were made, which included:

  • operationalization of the existing legislation;
  • the lack of current and relevant Regulations;
  • the revocation of archaic Regulations, bringing modern Regulations into practice.
  • the determination of prioritization of Regulations with the involvement of stakeholders
  • lack of clarity around key definitions
  • non-appointment of a Medical Inspector
  • due diligence required and expected of Inspectors in the discharge of their duties.

There was a lively discussion regarding areas of the TT OSH Act, which were vague and as such, subject to wide and subjective interpretation of the law by the OSH Inspectors. Conflicts with the interpretation of reporting timelines for reportable injuries and conflicts between the Regulations incorporated into the Act of 2004 from the outdated Factories Ordinance.

The branch members were honoured to welcome Mr. James Quinn CMIOSH, Vice-President, IOSH, who participated in the event via video conference and who addressed the audience.

Mr. Neil Hutchinson CMIOSH, Deputy Director Technical, OSH Agency also contributed to the discussion.

Overall, the event was well received with favourable feedback given.

Mr. Cadet concluded the event by thanking all participants for attending, with a special mention to Mr. James Quinn CMIOSH for his participation and comments, and Mr. Laurence L. Solomon FIOSH, long standing member.