COMMENTARY: Advice to Dominica’s youth

I take the liberty to make the following suggestion–unsolicited–to the young people of Dominica since I am totally convinced that the most important resource of any country, is its Human Resource.

 I urge young people to pursue studies in the area of Occupational Safety and Health ( OSH ), as it’s considered one of the top-ranking future professions. In fact, [according to] the International Labour Organisation ( ILO ), in a recent assessment done on the 11 most important jobs for the future, OSH ranks the second most important.

 Putting this into proper perspective, we need to realize that OSH is of premiere concern worldwide, as it covers the practice [that] deals with the safety, welfare, and social well-being of workers, in ALL occupations, and in so doing, seeks to provide a safe working environment for the entire staff –and by the way, this is a legal and human responsibility–and Dominica embraces this framework.

 At the level of the United Nations, the issue is treated with great care, as the UN itself frequently faces multiple and simultaneous crises across the globe. The HLCM (High-Level Committee on Management) on Occupational Safety and Health Forum is now a respected ” UN-system-wide forum”, established at its 38th Session in October 2019, and is very proactive, operating with a sense of urgency and determination, to build on the cumulative experience of learning from increasing tragic events globally, to preserve the system’s ability to deliver on its programmatic mandates that deal with “safety, welfare, and social well-being of workers in ALL occupations, and at every level “.

 OSH-related jobs are not professions that are (well) known like many others, (at least in Dominica), but it will do the country great good, personally and collectively, if and when, young people try and seek out opportunities to learn more about OSH in every sector and be part of this growing profession.

 My advice is that as awareness grows, those interested in careers that combine advocacy, education, and hands-on work, consider positively this field. After all, OSH professionals help protect workers from risks on the job by identifying potential hazards and developing plans to mitigate them. It’s not just about “after-the-fact ” compensation. It elevates to pre-emptive preparation.

 I suggest that prospective pursuers in this emerging sector ” learn up ” on OSH, as it calls for commitment.  The studies in this regard focus on identifying, assessing, and controlling (potential) risks arising from workplace activities. OSH professionals protect workers from hazards that can lead to injuries, illness and death. This includes physical risks (e.g. exposure to hazardous substances), ergonomic risks (e.g. repetitive strain injuries), and, increasingly, psychological risks.

 This work is done through a combination of methods, including identification and analysis, risk assessment, and the development of control methods. Once potential challenges have been identified, OSH experts collaborate with employers and employees to develop safe work practices to help minimize the likelihood of harm or injury.

 Venturing into this career path can be heading into an almost ” once neglected ” area, and this means lots of effort will be required.

 Nonetheless, the need for many to pursue careers in OSH seems indispensable if Dominica is to protect its most important resource. Moreover, the pay is excellent!




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  1. Roger Burnett
    April 2, 2024

    A necessary qualification for a Health and Safety Inspector, is a realistic understanding of working practice on the shop floor.

    When my sculpture studio was located in the UK it was selected for giving art college students work experience. But first it had to be inspected, and I was somewhat doubtful if my antiquated equipment and working methods would make the grade.

    The inspector came on the appointed day and for ten minutes we exchanged pleasantries. He then picked up his briefcase and prepared to leave. At the door I asked when he’d be coming back to make his inspection.

    He replied, “A workshop that’s kept as clean and orderly as yours, doesn’t need inspecting.”

  2. Ivenia
    April 2, 2024

    very interesting!

  3. Ibo France
    April 1, 2024

    Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is very important indeed. We in the Caribbean are too lax in this area.

    Having said that, I think for young Dominicans, more emphasis should be placed on learning a skill. Most skilled persons do very well for themselves in life. The electrician, mechanic, welder, mason, carpenter, engineer, IT technician, et cetera, these services are always in demand.

    Having an employable skills means you can be self-employed manufacturing, building or inventing much needed new goods and products. That is what the world needs today. You don’t have to rely on
    government nor private companies for work. You can create your own.

    • Mark
      April 2, 2024

      Ibo, I almost never agree with your posts but this one you’re spot on. Learn a skill and you’re almost guaranteed to succeed. This OSH thing is a complete hogwash with very little opportunity for making a living especially in the Caribbean.

      • PENCIL
        April 3, 2024

        Mark and Ibo, you make a good point but the message in the article does not contradict your positions. Moreover, why do we want to limit our employment opportunities to Dominica ? The world should be our playground !

    • Brian
      April 3, 2024

      agreed 100%
      we aslo need learning and certification centers, even for those who already in the field or have a keen interest. Then the employer will know their competences and pay accordingly.

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