MCESD discussed health and safety at the workplace

Following a request from the  General Workers Union (GWU), the social partners discussed health and safety at the workplace. The meeting was addressed by the Minister for Public Works and Planning Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue Andy Ellul together with the CEO of the Occupational Health ad Safety Authority (OHSA) Dr Mark Gauci.

In light of the fact that were a number of fatal accidents, at the workplace, the GWU proposed that this issue should be discussed at MCESD level. The aim of this meeting was for the social partners, the OHSA, and Government representatives to discuss the way forward on what needs to be done to reduce accidents at the workplace and to improve  enforcement.

Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi gave an overview of a survey, commissioned by the Ministry for Public Works and Planning, on public opinion on health and safety at the workplace He stressed that there is  need for more knowledge and education so that the culture of health and safety at the workplace is strengthened. He stressed that it is a moral obligation, that workers have the necessary security at work.

For his part, the Parliamentary Secretary Andy Ellul said that it was necessary to discuss the laws that we want to make and improve, to see that there really is safety at the workplace. However, he emphasised that it is important that laws are followed and that there are worthy enforcements, where possible, at the place of work. He also added, that in this regard, there is also a need for a change in mentality so that everyone will observe the existent safety and health standards.

The Parliamentary Secretary remarked that one of the problems we are facing in the construction labor market, is the lack of skilled workers. He said that as many are resorting to foreign workers who lack skills,  this in turn brings new challenges, as time is needed until these workers are given the necessary training.

The CEO of OHSA Dr Mark Gauci explained the role of this Authority and gave a detailed presentation to the social partners about accidents at the workplace with reference to perceptions and reality.

The survey can be accessed here