Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Occupational Safety and Health Policy in three Industries in Trinidad and Tobago

Mark Allen, Robert Dibie


This paper investigates the effectiveness of the occupational safety and health (OSH) policy in the construction, manufacturing, and petrochemical industries in Trinidad and Tobago since it was enacted in 2006 up until 2017. Existing literature copiously reports on the degraded levels of occupational safety and health (OSH) in developing countries and recommends the adoption of integrated approaches to workers’ health protection. Although this assertion may be correct for some Caribbean countries it might not be true for all. This paper argues that inadequate enforcement of the OSH policy, oversight, and accountability strongly suggests that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is not serious about its OSH policy. The data for this paper were derived through interviews and questionnaire research instruments. The result of the research found that there has been limited gains and few positive policy outcomes. This is because the OSH Agency does not pursue a coordinated policy implementation initiative, and this shortcoming has contributed negatively to the underlying and persistent absence of employers’ commitment to complying with the national OSH policy. It is prudent and urgent that a re-energized and creative approach to policy implementation be adopted, and that essential tools, resources, strategic direction and executive oversight are provided to ensure sustenance and success of this important change-management process.

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