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Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Training for Workers and Managers in Tea Plantations

The ILO, in cooperation with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of Sri Lanka has carried out a series of training workshops aiming to improve safety, health and productivity of the tea plantations.

News | 08 August 2018
The workers and managers identified both good points and areas for improvement in OSH in their
The ILO, in cooperation with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of Sri Lanka has carried out a series of training workshops aiming to improve safety, health and productivity of the tea plantations. The first training workshop was organized in a tea estate in Kotagala. Twenty four workers and managers participated in this workplace-based training. The training programme consisted of; (1) a tea processing factory visit with the action-checklist application (Photo 1), (2) a tea plucking site visit with the action-checklist application (Photo 2), (3) a presentation regarding good practices of tea processing factories, (4) a presentation on good practices of tea plantations, and (5) group discussion by the participants (Photo 3) to identify good points and points to be improved in their workplaces.

The participating workers and managers applied the action-checklists effectively, and were able to identify both good points and areas for improvement in OSH in their workplaces. Their proposals were: the use of push carts for moving heavy materials; removing unnecessary materials from passage ways; installing stronger machine guards; adjusting working heights for reducing strenuous bending posture; providing personal protective equipment against hazardous work; and better resting facilities. This one-day workplace-based training using the action-checklist was easy to organise and practical. The training provided an opportunity for workers and employers to discuss the OSH improvements together. Dr Champika Amarasinghe, Director-General of NIOSH and her team have since conducted similar workplace-based training workshops in other tea estates.

On 8 August 2018, an ILO mission made a follow-up visit to Gikiyanakande tea, rubber and oil-palm plantation in Kalutara to see their improvements. The estate had participated in the ILO OSH training last April and implemented OSH improvements after the training workshop. The improvements included: clear and safer passage ways (Photo 4); machine guards; hand trucks for carrying heavy materials; and the provision of appropriate personal protective equipment to workers (Photo 5). The manager and workers were proud of their positive changes of their workplaces and confident of continuing improvements.