Organizations in Barbados have been urged to pay attention to the health, safety, wellness and general welfare of their workers.
The appeal came today as Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, spoke at the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between his Ministry and Pharma Wellness International Inc., at the Warren’s Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.
Minister Jordan encouraged owners, operators and leaders in both the private and public sectors to pay their workers the same attention that they pay to their equipment.
He said: “If we are going to be that careful about equipment, inanimate objects, then we have to be many times more careful and concerned about the human beings who work in an organization. And so, we are calling on organizations to pay attention to the wellness, health, safety and general welfare of their workers. First because they are human beings, and they deserve that respect and that attention, and secondly, they are the key ingredient in productivity. And so, if people are to be productive for your organizations, then you have to take care of the people in your organizations.”
Pointing out that his Ministry was seeking to have a combined, but balanced approach to these matters in the workplace, he said the formalizing of the relationship with Lennox Prescod, Chief Executive Officer of Pharma Wellness International Inc., was part of Government’s decision to focus on these areas.
“We have decided that we would partner or work closely with organizations whose mandate is the promotion of wellness and health and safety of workers across the board.
“Government recognizes that it has an enormous responsibility, a responsibility to all of the many thousands of workers across the country. It also recognizes that it cannot fulfil every aspect of its responsibility on its own, and so it has to partner with organizations of like mind, organizations who see as … their reason for existence the carrying out of some of the various mandates that rest with government.”
Mr. Prescod, in thanking the Ministry, said Pharma Wellness, which was started five years ago, was a concept he had while working at the Barbados Drug Service, as its Director.
“I used to make the point that just giving people medication was not the answer to dealing with chronic non-communicable diseases,” he said.
Noting that Pharma Wellness goes out to companies to conduct the programme so people do not have to come to them, Mr. Prescod added: “We go to companies; set up a little clinic with nurses and we do all these basic tests, baseline tests. You get your blood pressure, blood sugar, HBA1CU, which is critical because it tells you if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes or no diabetes ….”
While revealing that in 2019 some five to 600 persons in the private sector were looked at and their progress in the programme analysed, he stressed a message being pushed in the programme was that “diabetes can be reversed”.