One local company’s dedication to safety and health was recognised on Tuesday, when the Barbados Road Safety Association awarded Esso SRL with the first ever Work Related Road Safety Business Champion Award.
Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, was on hand to present the award trophy to Esso Country Manager, Cally Boyea, and noted that the company was “way ahead of the game” where safety and health, and other legislation were concerned.
“Since we passed and proclaimed the Safety and Health at Work Act in January, I must thank the business community for coming on board. They’ve been keen to show me what they’re doing, where they’re having challenges with legislation and implementing… By and large, many have come forward to say ‘thank you’ for doing this, it certainly helps to reinforce the culture that we want in the workplace,” she said.
Explaining that the award would be used as a tool to “promote financial, legal and moral reasons for organisations across the public and private sector to invest in ‘at work’ driving safety”, the BRSA President Sharmane Roland Bowen said: “A champion can be an individual or a company that is prepared to step forward and champion good practice.”
She added that the criteria to qualify for the award included compliance with safety and health legislation; a willingness to share knowledge via presentations and seminars; a top-down commitment to managing work-related road safety; and a positive attitude towards safety, reflected in the behaviour of all employees, from supervisors to staff.
Pointing out that it was the duty of the employer to provide training on safety culture and procedures and to establish policies on alcohol and driving, distracted driving, fatigue and hours of work, the BRSA president added: “These policies are not just for the employee, but the employer because it provides a means of protection… The employer can say that he took measures to minimise or eliminate the risk.”
Boyea expressed his thanks to the BRSA for recognising Esso’s commitment and stressed that the culture of safety at Esso was as result of a long and ongoing corporate journey that it had shared with the BRSA for over 40 years, as well as with the Ministry of Labour.
“Every aspect of Esso’s culture today rests clearly on the stated corporate vision of a workplace where nobody gets hurt… Safety is a value that governs everything we do… It’s a journey without rest, but one that allows each of us to make it home,” he said.
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