Occupational Safety and Health

What everyone should know about should know about OSHA

Good occupational health and safety (OSHA) practices maintains and enhances worker productivity. It is also required by law.

Jamaica is not immune from the effects of accidents and fatalities. For the period 2012 to 2014 there were over 600 accidents (Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) statistics). A study of Economic and Health Effects of Occupational Hazards in Latin American and Caribbean Study by the Inter-American Development Bank Study (2001) estimates USD24 to 55 billion in economic costs. Managing OSHA risks is therefore crucial to both commercial and regulatory interests.shutterstock_132243251

Safety management requirements for every business

The Occupational Health and Safety Department of MLSS has four categories of Industrial establishments:

  • General establishments
  • Offices and Shops
  • Hazardous Installations
  • High Risk Installations

Every category has a requirements for safety management that employees should be aware of. Consult the MLSS for further details of these requirements. In summary:

Safety management Requirements
·         A comprehensive internal inspection system showing weekly or daily inspections

·         Resident safety professional or safety representative

·         Documented hazard identification, assessment and evaluation system

·         Adequate and suitable safety signs giving appropriate warning of hazards

·         Proper documentation of all safety procedure

·         Establish and display a safety Policy so that all workers are acquainted with it

·         Establish and maintain a safety training programme

·         Proper accident reporting procedure

·         Adequate first aid equipment and trained personnel to handle emergencies



Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) is covered by the Factory’s Act (Amendment) 2009 and several regulations:

  • The Factories Regulations 1961
  • The Building Operations and Works of Engineering Construction 1968
  • The Ship and Docks Regulations 1968

Employer’s Responsibilities

The Employer has a fundamental duty to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, and health and welfare employees at work:

  • a safe plant and system of work,
  • Adequate and suitable protective clothing or devices to approved standards for employees likely to be exposed to risks. Enquire about CEAC Outsourcing training in the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Keeping records, and give notice of accidents

There are several penalties for not complying with the law that range from JMD100,000 to 500,000 and up to 6 months in prison.

The Employee’s Responsibilities

Employee's have responsibilities in the OSHA framework:

  • reasonable care for the safety and health of himself and others who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work
  • cooperating with the  employer to ensure that duties or requirements are performed
  • Correct use of PPE provided for his use
  • Exercising discretion in refusal to work in a responsible manner
  • Not to be under the influence of an intoxicant

Occupational Health and Safety management can enhance productivity and avoid both health and fatality related economic costs. Familiarize your organization with OSHA regulations, safety management requirements and employer’s and employees requirements.

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