By: Joseph Jones
Hello! Sometime ago, I was called for a meeting regarding Safety and Health. It was an extraordinary inconvenience as a lot of time was lost but it was also serious business. During the first day’s orientation, the lecturer spoke about responsibility at hand and the important nature of the task. I could well remember up to this day, he said, we are going to sit in judgement of workers who either had problems or disputes on the topic of Occupational Safety and Health. Look, I felt a great sense of inadequacy (not good enough) at the workplace. I know some of us like to pass judgement with serious life consequences; riding on the decision is not a simple thing because we are imperfect human beings. We may not always make the right judgement.
People, listen to this: While the justice of our world might struggle and falter because of the existing as an inseparable part in as it relates to the failings of the human beings that manage them, I know we can always trust God to excel in wisdom and fairness.
Workers! This is a mouthful, and so I encourage you to please pay serious attention to this article and absorb it fully.
Let me write something more before I close. There is a view that most industrial accidents in the region are caused by ‘careless workers’ or accident-prone workers who do not take safety at work seriously.
People, I said it in most of my articles to BE AWARE. This puts the blame on you the worker and suggest that work can be made safer simply by changing the behavior of working people or selecting for example gifted workforce which never makes mistakes.
Accidents will not stop simply by making workers more safety conscious; his may help but it does not get at the roots of the problem, namely the unsafe process. The cure, therefore, lies in designing work systems which take into account the fact that workers are human beings and sometimes make mistakes.
This trade union approach involves prevention rather than a cure with emphasis placed on controlling the hazards at sources than relying on getting workers to adapt to unsafe conditions or wear protective clothing often not suited or designed for us in St.Kitts-Nevis or the Caribbean.
*Note Well* Life is like a game of tennis. You can’t win without serving well.