Progress Made on Occupational Safety and Health Bill in Belize, Minister Provides Update
The Occupational Safety and Health Bill, also known as the OSH Bill, has stalled for years now, but it seems steps are being made to finalize this important piece of legislation. In August 2022, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that it had completed its review of the OSH Bill and that the unions were conducting their final review. While the work is reportedly being done, the question arises from time to time especially when tragedy strikes. It was just last week where a linesman was injured on the job out west, hence the question of where we are on the OSH Bill. We posed that question to the Minister of Public Service, Henry Charles Usher.
Henry Charles Usher, Minister, Constitutional and Political Reform: “Tt’s a bill that is needed in the country it certainly it’s something that we have to get into law. There were some areas that were still in discussion in terms of I believe what was being required at agricultural farms and stuff like that maybe those areas we had to look at those but I think 95 or 96% of the bill is good to go and it’s just a matter of finalizing the final draft and then taking it to the national assembly but certainly I support its coming into force. I think it’s something that’s needed in the country. You mentioned that case just now of the linesman falling off the line I think that’s very unfortunate it should not be happening. There needs to be standards in place there needs to be regulations in place to make sure that the health and safety of our workers are taken care of.”