Managua — Better Work Nicaragua held a one-month course programme on Human Resources and Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems implementation to help garment factories develop their own management systems based on the adoption of international standard indicators. This innovation promises better safety across the factory floor.
Government representatives, members of the Garment Nicaraguan Association (ANITEC), factory representatives from 44 factories and union members attended the
Better Work Nicaragua-run seminar in a virtual form through the month of June.
The course combined a string of video conference calls, virtual roundtable consultations and a final autonomous project carried out by the attendees.
“The aim of this course is to support factories in their journey to measure and improve their performance, while also adopting a new, crucial prevention-based mindset,” says Better Work Nicaragua Programme Manager Blanca Peralta Paguaga. “We hope this will lead to a continuous improvement approach in the areas of human resources and occupational safety and health management systems across local garment factories.”
Better Work’s guidelines on occupational safety and health management systems provide guidance for action at the national and enterprise levels.
Throughout the course, participants have been provided with practical tools for the designing of specific indicators, their implementation and evaluation based on the UNE system, a set of international figures that measures changes in a process or activity.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), such international indicators are a crucial tool for the evaluation of the extent to which employees are protected from the dangers and hazards associated with their work. Governments, companies and stakeholders can use these indicators to improve the health and safety conditions at the workplace and to develop programmes meant to improve their accident prevention approach.
“Through this course, we had the opportunity to update our knowledge on aspects concerning Hygiene and Safety issues,” says Karla Rodriguez, a representative of the Nicaragua Ministry of Labour (MITRAB). “We also gained a deeper understanding of the administration tools related to the specific indicators available to the HR departments of each company. I am confident this experience has strengthened the skills of each participant.”
Better Work endorses Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems as a logical and useful tool for the promotion of continual improvement of OSH performance at the organization’s level. Key elements for its successful application include the management’s commitment and the active participation of workers through a joint implementation of its parts.
“This course has had a direct impact on our work, as we are now capable of developing indicators for our own analysis and decision-making in the factory,” says Mildred Castillo, Compliance Manager with Nicaragua-Based Exporting Factory Hansae International S.A. “This new set of skills will also prove beneficial for the improvement of the factory cost-benefit analysis , showing that BW brings about positive changes while empowering its stakeholders.”
Gabriela D´Trinidad, Compliance Manager of Choi Shin Nicaragua S.A. agrees:
“The course was very instructive. It personally taught me how to keep better track of factory indicators in order to achieve specific objectives as well as measure each step of the system management process,” she says. “These new tools also contributed to the improvement of the methods through which we measure each factory process and their related compliance time.”