Liberia New: ASSISTANT LABOR MINISTER WANTS SAFETY, WELFARE FOR WORKERS

As LNRCS Celebrates World Safety and Health Day

By Mark N Mengonfia

Monrovia-May-1-2024-TNR:The Liberia National Red Cross on Monday join the world over in observance of World Day of Safety and Health.

The day was commemorated in a local hotel in Monrovia.

Speaking at the guest speaker was Liberia’s Assistant Minister  for Labor Emmanuel Zorh, Jr  

He told the gathering that every time they gather to commemorate events that focus on the protection of workers in terms of their health, safety and welfare, it signal their hope and desire of achieving a community of work where workers will leave home for work and return to their families safe and free from all work related hazards.

He said that government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and other agencies has been working tirelessly in the design of a National Safety Plan to draw out a knowledge-based mechanism that will close the gap of understanding on safe working conditions and guide workers and employers to a more decent work environment in Liberia.

He also said that the International Labour Convention (C155)provides for the adoption of a coherent national occupational safety and health policy as well as action to be taken by governments and within enterprises to promote occupational safety and health to improve working conditions.

“Given this condition, and Liberia being a member of the ILO, working to uphold this international convention, has been making tireless efforts to improve the health and safety of workers within our landscape amidst the already growing challenges” he said.

He also highlighted the Decent Work Act of 2015 as their working tool that clearly establishes a legal framework to secure the safety, health and welfare of employees and other persons at work in Liberia and we remain resolute in making this practicable by reducing all risk factors through sensitization and enforcement of all health and safety laws and best practices.

This year’s World Safety and Health at Work Day was observed under the theme: Exploring the Impacts of Climate Change on Occupational Safety and Health.

Commenting on the theme, the government official said climate change poses severe impacts on the safety and health of workers not only in Liberia but also the world over.

“According to a recent report from the ILO, about 70% of the global workforce is likely to be exposed to climate-change related health hazard existing in occupational health” he said.

Additionally, the Deputy Labor Minister gave statistical data, said 2.4 billion workers out of a global workforce of 3.4 billion are likely to be exposed to excessive heat at some point of their work. Liberia is no exception to this data, as the experience of heat waves remain unprecedented even here.

“Climate change inducing existing heat waves and uncontrolled environmental conditions affects industrial works and exposes workers to outbreaks that place them at the first line of their defense. If employers and industrialists are concern about productivity and profit, they must as well attach some more serious concerns to the health and safety of workers because without a safe workforce, there can be no growth in production of goods and services. If we fail to look at these impacts climate change is having on occupational safety and health, we would record more cases of occupational injuries and deaths and further sustain downward movements along production lines which will ripple effect huge economic loses for businesses and individual loss of lives” he added.

During the celebration, members of the Liberia National Red Cross Society safety team demonstrated how workers can use first aid means to save lives.

They domesticated how one he help to resuscitate lives.

Monday’s celebration had those from the Liberia National Red Cross Society, Fire Service, Ministry of Labor among others in attendance.

Also speaking, the Director of the Liberia National Fire Services, G.Warsuwah Barvoul Sr. said addressing those conditions that are affecting safety in the workplace needs collective efforts by both employers and employees.

He said they both need straight adherence to those preventive measures.

“We want to encourage the Red Cross to go from institution to institution across the country and provide this education” he said.

Giving a sad story, he said, “recently I lost my nephew, he went to work and decided to have his breakfast and he fell, the time they took to look for a car before taking to JFK he die, because nobody knew First Aid “ Mr. Barvoul noted.

The Liberia National Red Cross Society is providing training in first aid, it is in this direction that the Fire Service boss recommended that Red Cross need not to only focus on the businesses and government institutions, but also include the churches with such First Aid training.

For her part, Jocelia Taplah, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services at the Ministry of Public Works highlighted the important role of the Red Cross First Aid in providing such an education that needs to

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