The NIOH in collaboration with the International Labour Organization conducted a three-day Asbestos Awareness Training for Tripartite Constituents from 5 to 11 December 2016 in Mauritius. The workshop was organised by the Mauritian Ministry of Labour Relations, Employment and Training.
Prof Jim Phillips from the Pathology Section and Mr Gabriel Mizan from the Occupational Hygiene Section represented the NIOH while Mr Franklin Muchiri represented the ILO.
This initiative follows the passing of the Mauritian Occupational Safety and Health (Control of Asbestos at Work) Regulations, which came into effect on 20 October 2016. The regulations control the working with and safe handling of material containing asbestos. The ILO and NIOH are, therefore, assisting the government of Mauritius to implement and enforce the new regulations—and ultimately phase out asbestos.
The asbestos awareness workshop was aimed at enhancing capacity in the identification, safe handling and monitoring of asbestos work carried out in terms of the new regulations, imparting knowledge gained through experience in the handling of asbestos-containing products, giving advice on impacts arising from the implementation of the asbestos regulations, as well as assessing existing capacities and assisting with the formulation of a national action plan on asbestos through consultation with stakeholders.
In addition to the workshop, Prof Phillips and Mr Mizan visited various facilities and met with senior officials from different organisations. They also met with the Minister of Labour Relations, Employment and Training Hon. Soodesh Satkam Callichurn, officials from the country’s Department of Health as well as organised labour representatives.