Business

THE CHAMBER’S VIEW ON THE OCCUPATONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT 2014

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is currently reviewing the OSH Bill tabled in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.
The Chamber, while fully supporting health and safety measures for employees, is deeply concerned that the Bill contains variations from the draft that was circulated and previously reviewed in 2010.
In the Prime Minister’s House of Representatives address he warned that, “There will be a tremendous burden and financial cost.” This cost would not only be to government but also, “to the private sector and to small individual employers; even that have one person operations to become compliant will cost a great deal of money.”
An example that illustrates the Prime Minister’s comment is that the fines and penalties for non-compliance range from a maximum of $25,000 for a person to $250,000 for a company.
The Chamber, being committed to continue capacitating and championing its membership while ensuring dialogue with stakeholders, is thoroughly and carefully assessing the feasibility and cost of passing this Bill in current form and is conducting full consultation with its members.
The Chamber further advises all business owners, particularly small and micro businesses, to review the draft legislation carefully with their own businesses in mind. It is important to ensure that this Bill, when passed, protects worker health and safety without endangering jobs due to cost impact of compliance.

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