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Jan 21, 2014

Will the Occupational Safety and Health Bill be tabled at House Meeting

The House of Representatives will meet on Wednesday. At its last sitting, representatives of the N.T.U.C.B. protested and were escorted out of the gallery by Police. The unions’ issue is the Occupational Safety and Health Bill, which they say has been written, reviewed, revised, vetted and discussed for years now, and still hasn’t been placed on the table to make its journey into law. There is some doubt that it will be on Wednesday’s agenda, but the union still holds out hope. According to P.S.U. President Marvin Blades, that was one of the matters up for discussion at an executive meeting held this past weekend.


Marvin Blades, President, PSU (Courtesy: Plus TV)

“The congress tends to discuss a lot of national issues. One that is very important for us is the OSH Bill and we are hoping that it will be on the next reading of the House. As you know in December we did kinda a little protest in the House because a lot of bills have been passed, but our Occupational Safety and Health Bill is just waiting on the wayside. And we knew that it is something that would benefit all workers in this country. And so we will insist on it and continue to pursue it. Now we have been told that it will be on the floor, so we will definitely be there to ensure that it is on the floor.”



Marvin Blades

“Can you speak more about this bill?”


Marvin Blades

“Occupational and Safety Health Bill is a bill that protects workers in one sense…I’ll give you an example. Every time you go on the highways, if you look around, a lot of these offers don’t have the gear that they need for the work that they do. For example, the Ministry of Works—you see these guys dealing with tar, but there are no protective gloves, there is no suits; there is nothing. And all the fumes and things affect these officers. Later on in their careers, they will definitely have some health issues. And a lot of the time accidents happen in the work place. Social Security themselves have to be paying out because of accident prone…because of whatever location they are at, or the provider or employer is nothing putting all that in place. And so the OSH Bill gives them a three year plan to get up to par. So it is not like if it is passed tomorrow, you have to get all these gears immediately. It gives a three year into phasing this program and it will help all the workers honestly because a lot of things we take for granted in Belize in regards to safety and you see it all over when you go to different departments or different units. Even when you see road units on the highway, you wonder how these guys are out there without protective gear; they are dressed just like you and me, like they are doing ordinary thing. And they should be having their hardhats and other stuff in case of accidents.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Will the Occupational Safety and Health Bill be tabled at House Meeting”

  1. sam says:

    I would like to see a draft of the bill, Like OSHA in the USA, I hope they use it as a guide line
    Time to protect the working class people as there family depends on there health.
    “GOB will not support the Bill” is like saying screw you all. They can come to the USA for quality care at the heads of the tax paying working class people. “Protect out workers, PM they pay your bills, and the fat bank account in bank of America(US bank)

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