New occupational health and safety system implemented in P.R.
With the goal of reducing the number of injuries, illnesses and prevent deaths in the workplace, the State Insurance Fund, the Department of Labor and Human Resources and the Puerto Rico Occupational Safety and Health Administration signed an agreement that, among other things, will help industries with a high incidence of injured employees and/or occupational diseases develop proactive safety strategies.
SIF Administrator Jesús M. Rodríguez-Rosa explained that the agreement is in accordance with the provisions of the Work Accident Compensation System Act (Law No. 45) that gave way to the creation of the dependency that recognizes the rights of all workers to be protected against workplace health risks.
“Those of us who work at the SIF are called to act in protection of workers in Puerto Rico and that is precisely why our actions in the past few years have been aimed at taking measures that positively impact the island’s working class, employers and the injured whom we serve on a daily basis,” he said.
In essence, the agreement seeks to strengthen a culture of occupational risk prevention where the SIF will be directly integrated by implementing a new Occupational Health and Safety System that includes the participation of management and employees in training and inspections and that is effective when reporting risks.
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Briseida Torres-Reyes, stressed the importance of this alliance that extends the PR OSHA’s scope to guide employers and ensure they comply with occupational health and safety regulations.
“The integration of efforts to train and help employers, managers and other personnel to identify danger zones or actions that could result in accidents should be a priority in all work areas,” she said.
“Through this agreement, we make available to our staff and all the tools of PR OSHA’s consulting and compliance programs to achieve accident prevention and protection,” she added.
PR OSHA Deputy Secretary Luis E. Pardo said in addition to promoting the consulting service, this alliance will allow them to collect more specific information on the types of industries with the highest risk of reported accidents, as well as high-level industries risk according to the work they do.
“We thank the SIF for allowing us to carry out this joint effort and we urge employers to request our free services to avoid accidents and fines for breaching Law 16-1975,” he said.