With a shared goal of fostering a safer work environment, social partners converged at the ninth MCESD council meeting of 2023 to deliberate amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA) Act. The proposed white paper aims at tighter operations with more impactful deliverables of the OHSA through the introduction of the ‘Health and Safety at Work Act,’ aligning with Maltese law to improve health and safety at work.
The meeting was attended by the Minister for Public Works and Planning, Hon. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue, Hon. Andy Ellul, and representatives from the Ministry.
Dr Jeanine Schembri, representing the Ministry, delivered a compelling presentation highlighting the white paper’s key features. Reinforcing the OHSA’s distinct legal personality, the act proposes the formation of the Governing Board that works with the Health and Safety Executive to drive policy developed by the Health and Safety Council in an effort to strengthen governance structure.
The Governing Board assumes responsibility for high-level governance, overseeing financial matters and policy implementation while refraining from executive decisions. Meanwhile, the Health and Safety Executive, led by the CEO, takes charge of implementing the act’s provisions and managing OHSA’s affairs and objectives. The Health and Safety Council assumes the mission of including the social partners’ voices and championing a culture of health and safety in workplaces through policy development.
During the meeting, all social partners including Unions, Employers Civil Society Committee and Gozo Regional Committee, provided valuable insights and reactions to what had been presented. The MCESD served as a platform for meaningful dialogue, fostering collaboration on this crucial matter.
The Minister acknowledged the OHSA’s ongoing efforts to improve its delivery, emphasising the importance of listening to social partners’ recommendations during the MCESD meeting which would then be followed up with a shared converged position.
For more information, the presentation can be accessed here.