By: Joseph Jones
Workers! I will remain on your case all of the time; there will be no stopping! Ok?! We are creatures with all kinds of needs. Without air, water or food, for instance, we canot go on living.
In addition, to these absolutely basic necessities, we have a host of others that must be met if we are to be healthy and happy. But these needs are not just physical, emotional and social, they are also spiritual.
Anyone who thinks humans beings (we) are mere organism (organic structure, a body exhibiting organic life) is over looking our most essential need. I am moved by passion (hasty) when it come to Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).
Now, I said this on many occasions and I will continue to say it. You are not alone, nor defenseless once are you a member of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades & Labour Union. Workers, Trade Union education is still our number one priority and elsewhere in our document you have to read about our participation in several training programmes.
Just as we fight for comfort in the workplace for the workers that we represent. Permit me now to present in more detail some areas of information.
A workplace can contain a number of hazards for workers. Firstly, there are more evidence of unsafe working conditions such as unguarded machininery, slippery floors, and inadequate fire precautions.
There are the hidden hazards which fall for convenience into a number of categories, often such risks combine together to making the problem worse for you, the workers.
For instance, in the case of you working in a noisy place not hearing an alarm call, or you feeling dizzy from chemical fumes and falling down some stairs without a hand rail.
Hello! Looking at some jobs I will name a few: (1) A welder can be burnt from the sparks or start a fire. There is also the problem or the severe light which can cause permanent eye damage and the fumes sent out by the process can damage the lungs (2) A mechanic, depending on the precise duties, there are the problems of safety from cuts and falls. Additionally, there is also exposure to chemical hazards: oils solvent and exhaust fumes.
Mechanics can also have back problem through lifting heavy parts or bending for long periods (Personally for me, I encountered that problem). This is serious!
(3) A textile worker. You face a variety of problems. First, there is the problem of safety which many unguarded machines and risk of fire which such combustible material about.
Furthermore, there is the hazards of noise and vibration. Also, the question of dust from the material which can seriously affect the lungs. Let me make this emphatically clear, seamstresses and tailors exposure to cotton can lead to the Occupational disease known as Byssinosis.
(4) Telephone and electrical workers working at height always faces the dangers of falling or becoming tangled in overhead wires or branches of trees. You can be working in all weathers and continually stretching to reach the faulty circuit.
(5) Not forgetting you the carpenters. Nearly 50% of you are not Unionized. You face a variety of hazards. Here are the top safety problems: Blunt tools, unguarded electric saws and the danger of fire with so much wood and saw dust in the workplace. Other concerns include noise and poor lighting.
Until next week, I hereby display a warm hearted affection to all the workers in St. Kitts and Nevis.