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You are here:   Legal Requirements > Notification of Occupational Disease

The OSH Act requires that the Chief Medical Officer be notified of an occupational disease by medical practitioners. This is stipulated under Section 48:

Section 48

  • Where a medical practitioner who, having attended to a patient, forms the opinion that the patient is suffering from an occupational disease contracted in any industrial establishment (workplace) or in the course of his employment, he shall within forty-eight (48) hours of having formed that opinion send to the Chief Medical Officer a notice stating the disease from which the medical practitioner is of the opinion that the patient is suffering and the industrial establishment (workplace) in which the patient is and was last employed
  • The Chief Medical Officer shall send forthwith to the Chief Inspector any notice that he receives of a person suffering from an occupational disease
  • If an employer is advised by or on behalf of an employee that the employee suffers from a disease referred to in the OSH Act, he shall give notice in writing to the Chief Inspector within four (4) days of being so advised
  • Where a notice is sent to the Chief Inspector under this section, he shall arrange, within two (2) weeks of having received the notice, for a medical inspector to investigate and submit to him a report on the case of occupational disease referred to in the notice within two (2) weeks
  • The Chief Inspector, upon receiving the report from the medical inspector shall conduct the necessary enquiries.
  • Every employer who fails to give notice to the Chief Inspector of an occupational disease commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars (TT $5 000) and to imprisonment for three months
  • Every medical practitioner who fails to give notice to the Chief Medical Officer of an occupational disease commits an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of five thousand dollars (TT $5 000), and to imprisonment for three months if it is proven that he ought reasonably to have formed the opinion that the patient was suffering from an occupational disease contracted in an industrial establishment or in the course of his employment.

A period of not more than thirty (30) days shall be allowed for the consideration of every application made under this Section. Where the Chief Inspector’s decision is not issued to the applicant during that period, such application shall be deemed approved for the purposes of this Section. Every application under this Section shall be made on the prescribed form and shall be accompanied by the prescribed documents.

In addition, the Act requires that the Chief Inspector be notified of any work of engineering construction. This is a requirement of Section 63 of the OSH Act:

Section 63
Any person undertaking any building operations or works of engineering construction shall, not later than seven (7) days after the beginning thereof, serve on the Chief Inspector a written notice stating:

  • The name and postal address of the person undertaking the operations or works
  • The place and nature of the operations or works
  • The name of the regional health authority within whose district the operations or works are situated and such other particulars as may be prescribed where 
  • This Section shall not apply to any operations or works which the person undertaking them has reasonable grounds for believing will be completed in a period of less than six (6) weeks, except in such cases as the Chief Inspector may direct; and
  • Where a person undertakes any building operations or works of engineering construction in a place where such operations or works are in progress, he shall not be required to give notice, if a notice was given in respect of the operations or works in progress.
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