Union and BCCI propose amendments to OSH Bill

By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter

Both the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) have proposed amendments to the tabled Occupational Safety and Health Bill.

According to BCCI President Arturo Vasquez, the chamber has submitted a total of between 50 and 60 amendments to the currently tabled OSH Bill. The bill is important but we have to be careful to implement a fair and efficient bill, Vasquez said.

Vasquez said that among the top concerns was that the OSH authority, which would be created after the enactment of the bill, would depend too heavily on penalizing businesses for funding.

Each side is still in the process of reviewing each other’s proposals and according to Eddie Webster, the clerk of the National Assembly, who is closely associated with the process, the Public Service, Labour, Industry and Trade Committee will continue to facilitate the dialogue between civil society and the union.

Once there is an agreement on the bill’s amendments the committee can then begin to schedule nationwide public consultations to gather feedback from Belizeans on the issue.

The Occupational Safety and Health Bill, 2014 is a proposed legislation that would establish particular regulatory principles for big and small employers and their employees and would carry stiff penalties for non-compliant persons.

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