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On Friday 14 May 2021, a representative of the Government of Saint Lucia, Guy Mayers (the High Commissioner for Saint Lucia in the United Kingdom) presented the instruments of ratification for the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) and the Protocol of 2002 to the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 to the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. The ceremony was held virtually.

The ILO Director-General welcomed the ratifications, stating “The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the urgency of prioritizing occupational safety and health. The principles contained in the ILO occupational safety and health standards have shown to be more relevant than ever, and will play a crucial role in shaping a human-centered response to the crisis. I am therefore very pleased to welcome Saint Lucia as the 72nd Member State to ratify this key occupational safety and health Convention. Convention No. 155 is the first OSH standard ratified by the country, affirming the Government’s commitment to ensuring safe and healthy working conditions in consultation with the social partners. The ratification of the Protocol to Convention No. 155 further confirms the importance of data collection and analysis, as a key step towards the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases. I am delighted to welcome the first ratification of the Protocol in the Caribbean.”

On depositing the instruments of ratification, the High Commissioner, Mr Mayers, stated: “The ILO has today, recognised Saint Lucia as the 72nd Member State to submit its instrument of ratification for the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155), as well as the ratification of the Protocol to that Convention. Saint Lucia is proud to be the first Caribbean country to ratify the Protocol to Convention No. 155. Convention No 155 sets forth the principle that workers should be protected from injuries and diseases in their course of employment. These principles are coherent with what is outlined in the Labour Act (Cap 16.04) of the Revised Laws of Saint Lucia. These principles also form a critical part of the National Occupational Safety and Health Policy being developed for Saint Lucia. Ratifying the Convention will further strengthen our OSH system and will help achieve greater compliance with international standards. After the ratification of the Convention, the respective regulations will be adopted to ensure enforcement of the OSH standards and principally to prevent occupational accidents and diseases amongst the workers of Saint Lucia.”

Convention No. 155 is one of the key ILO instruments on occupational safety and health, together with its Protocol of 2002 and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187). Convention No. 155 sets out the basic principles and methodology required for sustained improvements in the management of occupational safety and health. It 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 and to improve working conditions. The Protocol to Convention No. 155 focuses on the establishment of procedures for notifying occupational accidents and diseases, as well as the publication of OSH data. It is particularly important for data collection and analysis in support of prevention.

Conventions No 155 and its Protocol will enter into force in Saint Lucia on 14 May 2022. With these ratifications, Saint Lucia has ratified 29 ILO Conventions and one Protocol.

Source of original article: News, articles and statements on occupational safety and health from the ILO (www.ilo.org).
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