Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 23, 2018 (SKNIS): A report from the Bureau of Standards has found “no indication of obnoxious odours” nor visual “sign of water damage” that would negatively impact the indoor air quality within the Department of Labour.
Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, Honourable Vance Amory, made that announcement on Tuesday (January 23) during a sitting of the Federal Parliament.
The Bureau’s report was submitted on July 27, 2017 to the Ministry of Labour, after concerns were made about possible air quality issues at the department, located above the Treasury Chambers on the corner of Church and Central Streets. The building was extensively renovated in 2016 and the Department of Labour occupied sections of the top floor of the building in January 2017.
However, Senior Minister Amory stated that any reports of staff discomfort must be addressed in a serious way given that the ministry’s leadership is “clearly concerned about the health of those persons who work for the government.”
“The Ministry of Labour has to set the standard for [occupational] safety and health issues,” he added, noting that any working environment must be conducive to allow workers to perform their task effectively and efficiently.
The Bureau’s report did express concern about the design of the air conditioning system, which is shared with another government agency within the office space. It notes that the system does not ventilate the carbon dioxide efficiently during peak occupancy of the building.
“We advised and have instructed the officers at the department to open the windows and the doors to let fresh air come in,” Minister Amory disclosed, noting that this has helped to improve the air flow. “Meanwhile we have continued [engaging] with the experts in heating/air conditioning and related matters, we have asked them to evaluate the existing installation of the cooling system, make whatever adjustments need to be done so that we can have the environment, in the newly renovated premises, which will ensure that our officers work in an atmosphere that is healthy and safe.
The adjustments are expected to conclude by the end of the week (January 26).