Govt have released the following statement;
On Workers’ Memorial Day, we remember all those who came before us who lost their lives at their place of work as a result of an accident or of a work related illness. Today, marks the fifth anniversary of the introduction of this Memorial by Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar.
HM Government of Gibraltar continues to improve Health and Safety matters. To this end, the Health and Safety Inspectorate has been restructured in order to reclaim the Health and Safety agenda. Further, a Health and Safety Committee has been constituted comprising of representatives from the public sector to discuss the details of comprehensive Health and Safety policies designed specifically for Gibraltar. The Health and Safety Inspectorate will be responsible for the strategic implementation of the Committee’s recommendations. It is also important to note the invaluable input, advice and support from Unite the Union in this important endeavour.
The Ministry of Business and Employment, on behalf of the Government, is therefore proud to announce that on the Committee’s representations and advice, a Health and Safety Policy specifically designed for Gibraltar is being introduced with immediate effect. The Policy establishes best industry practice guidelines that will, in the first instance, be applicable to all the public sector and its employees. After a period of full consultation with the private sector, it is intended that these policies will be extended to all of Gibraltar.
Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar takes a serious view on Health and Safety at work and considers that it should be of the highest standard possible. In this regard, business organisations and the general public are reminded that the Health and Safety Inspectorate is available for guidance and advice in respect of best practice on Health and Safety issues. Programmed inspections are routinely carried out on high risk areas, one being lifting equipment. In Gibraltar, under the Lifting Operation Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), inspections carried out by the Inspectorate are planned to target the most hazardous areas first. In the last five years there has not been a single fatal accident, with most of the reported accidents being minor.
It should be noted that the Government’s new policy would not have been possible without the input and advice of Unite the Union. The Union has been instrumental in conveying the importance of a safe working environment for everyone. Unite has campaigned for many years on behalf of its members, who may have been injured at work, made ill and even, regrettably, killed by dangerous substances or working conditions in the workplace.
Commenting on the above, the Minister for Business and Employment, the Hon Neil Costa MP said: “It is evident that this Government is working on many fronts to improve the standards of Health and Safety for all workers in Gibraltar. With the newly announced Policy, we deepen our commitment to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all of our employees and the general public, visitors, contractors and any other persons who may attend any public buildings or workplaces. The Policy will no doubt raise the bar in terms of the level of professionalism and service provided by the Health and Safety Officers. The introduction of the Health and Safety Policy is a clear testament that we are working towards achieving our continued vision to advance towards a safer working environment. I look forward to highlighting and explaining the details and effect of the Policy shortly.”