Saint Lucia
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Health and Safety Issues at the Workplace under Review

Finance Administrative Building
Finance Administrative Building

THE Finance Administrative Building will receive a deep cleaning that will cost the Government of Saint Lucia one million Eastern Caribbean Dollars, according to Prime Minister Philip J Pierre.

 This is a slice of the amount of money government has spent and will spend on buildings said to be in poor conditions, primarily as a result of mold.

At a media briefing, Wednesday, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre lamented on what he deems is the deplorable working conditions that civil servants have to put up with at their respective locations. 

“The government spends literally millions of dollars to deal with mold (infestation) …and we will have to spend $1million on the Financial Centre building, a building that was newly built to deal with mold,” he said.

The prime minister stated that reports indicate, “Mold was brought in by unfair transportation practices”.

As a consequence, said Pierre, “I have instructed that any movement of government offices from now on must be done with the full consultation of the Health & Safety unit and other health and safety experts.

“So, the minister will not advise who to carry it, he will not advise as to what truck to put it in …so hopefully we will not get into a situation where we have to transfer mold again.”

He added that government spends lots of money to do “deep cleaning” in various departments, regularly, and a deep clean is done every other month at the Graham Louisy Building on the Castries Waterfront.

The Immigration Department and the Department of Transport are some of the government offices that have been affected with this problem. 

Referring to the situation at the Immigration Department, Pierre said, “things have improved tremendously at the passport office, where over 3,000 passports have been given (processed) in the last two and a half weeks. We spent millions of dollars again to move the passport office from where it was to a new building, because of the mold infestation”. 

He asserted : “So, it’s the government’s priority to deal with mold infestation, but we have to find an answer (solution) so the workers health and safety is a priority and that is why we spend so much money in dealing with deep cleaning, cleaning of air conditioners , and we have instructed that any movement of offices will not be moved on the advice of a parliamentary representative …or to choose who is the person to carry it. 

“It is going to be moved under strict processes and procedures that will avoid the transfer of mold.”

Repairs and renovations have also been undertaken at various other government departments, in an effort to preserve the workers welfare and provide them with suitable working conditions.

Several reports have been circulated about public servants getting sick, due to mold infestation at their workplace. It has also been reported that employees encountered setbacks with issues of black mold on the roof, paint that bubbles on the walls, and air conditioning and plumbing that leaks.

As a result, workers have had to vacate buildings because mold had spread to their desks, chairs, carpets, and computers. 

Pierre noted, “Every time we clean, we have to check for mold.”