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Workplace fatalities down by 37% in Guyana

April 29, 2024

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Despite recording a 37% reduction in the number of workplace fatalities over the past three years, Guyana has so far this year recorded more deaths than the previous three-year period.

Figures show that in 2020, there were 32 workplace deaths, 27 the following year and 21 in 2022.

But while no official figures were disclosed, Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton, in his message marking Occupational Safety and Health Day, said the majority of fatalities occur in the mining and construction sectors.

“This situation causes me great concern, and should be the same for our tripartite partners and key stakeholders. Indeed it is quite obvious that we need to act now. Decisive actions need to be taken to prevent workplace accidents and safeguarding well-being of the workers in this beloved country of ours,” Hamilton said.

He said this would require concerted efforts from the government, trade unions and employers’ organisations who need to collaborate closely to develop, implement and maintain comprehensive strategies for safety and health protocols, adequate training in the enforcement of safety and health regulations, proper equipment maintenance and fostering a culture of safety among all stakeholders.

“Let us rise to the challenges and reduce our efforts to create safer and healthier workplaces for all together we can make a difference and build a future where every worker can go to work and return home safely at the end of the work day or work period.”

Occupational Safety and Health Day is being observed under the theme “Ensuring safe and healthy work now in a changing climate: We are running out of time,” and Hamilton places emphasis, on the urgency of the situation, and the urgent need to prioritise safety and health in workplaces.

“Climate Climate is already having serious impacts on the world of work, and workers particularly at risk are those who work outdoors in physically demanding sectors such as agriculture construction and mining.”

However, indoor workers in hot and poorly ventilated environments and other workers are also at risk.

Hamilton said action needs to be taken now as the consequences of workplace fatalities are profound, resulting not only in the loss of precious lives but also leaving behind devastated families and communities while also disrupting productivity and progress.

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