Hayleys PLC owned, Talawakelle’s flagship estate in the Southern Province, Kiruwanaganga Estate clinched the National Occupational Safety and Health Excellence Award in the agricultural sector at the awards ceremony held under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Organized by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the awards ceremony looks to advance the health and safety standards across industries within Sri Lanka and recognize the best business entities that adhere to international level occupational safety and health standards. The winners were selected through a rigorous process, which includes three steps namely desk review, field verification and expert review carried out by experienced professionals in the field of occupational safety and health. Commenting on the recognition Theja Dharmaratne, General Manager, Sustainability & Quality Management Development said, “We are humbled by this national level recognition we received for our efforts to adhere to international standards in occupational safety and health, doubly so as we were the only entity in the plantation sector to win an award at this event. The award is a testimony to our commitment to promote a safety culture and enhance our employees’ safety in the workplace.”
Occupational safety and health is the key in protecting workers’ rights among the working population and all employees and employers have equal responsibility in protecting the health and safety of workers. According to the International Labour Organization, both employees and employers stand to benefit from the implementation of sound occupational safety and health practices through which work place accidents, injuries and occupational diseases are minimized and productivity enhanced.
“We place a great emphasis on providing a safe working environment for our workers and strive continuously to minimize or eliminate risks and hazards at every workplace”, added Dharmaratne.
Kiruwanaganga estate has achieved the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Network certification, which is an integrated social, ethical and environmental sustainability standard and won the Gold at the National Green Awards in 2015. Kiruwanaganga established a benchmark in the Plantation industry when the estate received the first ISO 22000 food safety management systems certification in Sri Lanka in January 2006.