LUCELEC welcomes another Health and Safety Month
Written by Radio Caribbean International on March 7, 2022
Mechanic Helper Mr. Ignatius “Iggy” Mathurin is the 2021 St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) Safety Champion. He was awarded the Company’s 2021 Health and Safety Award for the work he does to keep the Generation plant where he is based, sanitized in keeping with COVID-19 protocols and his willingness to assist the Health and Safety Committee. Of the recognition, he said “I was surprised, so very surprised and happy. I even cried a little bit.”
He also spoke of his commitment to the task at hand.
“After my supervisor told me that as part of the Company’s response to COVID-19, I would have to sanitize the department where I work, I made the adjustment and did what I had to do. I’m very happy to do it because we have to protect each other.”
The award was handed out on March 1, the start of Health and Safety Month at LUCELEC. For the second consecutive year, the month opened with a virtual ceremony. This year marks 26 years since LUCELEC designated March its safety month. It is a time for new and refresher training that ensures employees and contractors perform their duties in the safest way possible. During the month, sessions provide best practices for working safely, as well as for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
This year’s theme is, “Building resilience and Sustainability in Workplace Health and Safety”. Notwithstanding it was a virtual event, the opening ceremony had all the trappings of an in-person one. That included an address from LUCELEC Managing Director Trevor Louisy who commended team members for their service delivery and safety record especially in light of the impact of COVID-19 on the country and Company.
“We recognize the many challenges brought about or exacerbated by the pandemic, but we are thankful that we were still able to keep our doors open with minimal disruption to our services and impact to our staff and customers. We had to adapt and change in order to navigate through the challenges faced. Credit must go to our dedicated workers for our resolve and performance, particular the front line workers, who continued to work diligently, facing the risk of the COVID-19 virus in addition to the other normal risks and challenges in the various operational areas,” he says.
Mr. Louisy was also satisfied with the Company’s 2021 Safety Performance. While one reported workplace incident towards the tail end of the year kept the Company from achieving a hat trick of zero occupational injuries (there were no reported incidents in 2019 and 2020) – its record surpassed the standard that can be expected in the electric utility industry.
“There are lessons learnt every time there is an injury or lost time incident at the workplace particularly for any accident that was preventable. Everyone’s health and safety performance counts and affects how we perform as an organization. This is a call for us to renew our commitment and responsibility to work safely with an attitude towards exemplary safety performance and a safety culture transcending all of our operations. Everyone must bind together to maintain the culture of safety first.”
This call to action was repeated by Featured Speaker Dr. Caius Alfred, an expert in Leadership and Church growth. He said, while the onus is on the Company to lead from the top and put things in place for the health and safety of employees – it is each person’s personal responsibility to safeguard his or her own health.
“Be aware of your surroundings,” he cautioned. “And pay attention. Use health tips to ensure proper health and to protect your mental and physical health. Take regular breaks to rejuvenate yourself and be more productive. Wear safety gear. Be sober to ensure judgment is not impaired and take your own personal responsibility to reduce stress. Monitor emotional reaction to situations, learn to respect yourself and maintain composure. Be focused and persistent and sustain your efforts despite challenges.”
The launch ended with LUCELEC Chief Engineer Gilroy Pultie leading all present in reciting the “Go Zero Pledge” – a commitment to working and staying safe and to zero reportable injuries or accidents.