The IOSH Caribbean Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Friday 15th May 2020. This year, the AGM was held as a virtual event, in keeping with social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was promptly called to order by our Branch Chair, Jason Maitland at 5:30pm as he shared a few words to welcome all those taking the time to join the online event. The PowerPoint presentation quickly followed as he shared the Agenda for the meeting and as well as a reminder on the Branch’s Vision, “To be a premier advocate of Health and Safety at work in the Caribbean” and the mission objectives which support this vision.
As is customary, a safety moment was delivered before delving into the formal agenda for the meeting. Befitting to our current global circumstance, he covered the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crucial role being played by OSH practitioners and IOSH in these unprecedented times. IOSH has been providing a wealth of resources on their website to assist OSH practitioners in managing occupational safety and health during the pandemic. IOSH has also launched a series of webinars, which cover a range of topics such as the health and wellbeing of the remote worker and managing workplace safety and health in response to Covid-19.
Our newly assigned Branch Coordinator – Emmeline Heaphy was introduced to the members. She shared a few words with the bunch, highlighting her past experience as a Professional Development officer and Membership Advisor, before briefly discussing her role with the Branch going forward. After the minutes of the previous AGM were confirmed, Mr. Maitland proceeded to present the Branch Chairperson’s Report. He began by listing the persons serving on the outgoing Executive Committee and offered words of appreciation for their dedication and diligence over the term. The presentation went on to recap and summarize the Branch’s main activities over the period, May 2019 to April 2020, beginning with an overview of the last AGM, including the esteemed speakers and the key takeaway points.
The summary of the past 12 months covered a steady stream of over 25 activities ranging from branch meetings, executive committee meetings, IPD/CPD workshops, outreach events and stakeholder engagements. Slides illustrating the intended Work Plan for the period versus the actual activities accomplished, demonstrated that the Branch exceeded the number of activities in many cases. Mr. Maitland made a point of saying that additional activities were planned and in the works but had to cancelled regrettably but unavoidably, due to the pandemic. The Branch Key Performance Indicators were reviewed at the meeting, giving the members some insight into the performance of the Executive in meeting the performance standards set.
The table below gives an overview of the Branch’s activities for the 2019 -2020 term.
|Event||Total for the Period May 2019 – April 2020|
Executive Committee Meetings
Branch Member Events:
Special/ Outreach Events
Stakeholder Meetings: OSHA TT, TTBS, COSTAAT, NESC, Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative StudiesOutreach: AmCham H&S Conference, NESC Girls in Coveralls event, Cipriani College’s Children’s Safety Day and Ministry of Education – NTTL Campaign.
Mr. Maitland also highlighted the fact that the Branch received the award in the Influence Category at the IOSH Excellence Awards in 2019. The award was received for the Branch’s outstanding work in executing the first IOSH Caribbean Safety and Health Conference in November 2018. The planning committee for that event received special mention for their efforts. In addition, Mr. Maitland also shared the exciting news of his appointment as a Board Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority of Trinidad and Tobago in November 2019, as well as his appointment to IOSH’s Performance and Development Committee.
The AGM also provided a financial report of the branch’s finances and expenditure over the past 12 months. This was presented by Ria Sooknarine, the Branch Treasurer. The review also covered some key areas where the Committee has worked to incur cost savings for the Branch such as the use of complimentary venues for IPD/CPD workshops and special arrangements with the Hilton Hotel for discounted rates on meeting rooms.
At the end of the meeting, time was also taken to remind participants about the benefits of the new Career Hub on the IOSH website as well the new IOSH Competency Framework and encouraged members to participate in the IOSH Membership Grade Review.
The new committee for the 2020-2021 term was then announced. The members of the committee are shown in the figure below. The Executive Committee will be meeting soon to review the current workplan and to make the necessary revisions and updates geared toward achieving the continued vision and mission of the Branch.