The Jamaica Occupational Health and Safety Professionals Association (JOHSPA) is saddened yet again at the reported untimely and tragic death of a construction worker in Port Antonio. We offer our sincerest condolences to the grieving family. While we are not privy to the details of this tragedy we know that deaths like this one are totally preventable and should not have occurred especially at this time of year when family and friends mean so much. Occupational deaths due to accidents are happening with uncomfortable regularity in Jamaica and there are numerous cases of workplace injuries which go unreported in the national press. While this is happening the draft Occupational Safety and Health Act is languishing in the Jamaican Parliament for more than 15 years with repeated promises of enactment. It is even more disturbing that the powerful Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) has been almost moribund in its efforts to secure its enactment.
What more needs to happen for the JCTU to seriously take this matter on board on behalf of the workers whom it represents? How many more workers have to die before the government passes this signal piece of legislation which is supposed to protect workers like Mr. Michael Jones?
JOHSPA encourages a swift investigation of this incident by the relevant authorities and hopes that appropriate measures will be implemented at all construction sites in Jamaica to prevent accidents like this one occurring again.