Lautafi Fio Purcell
Minister of Public Enterprises
Remarks on World Day
for Safety and Health at Work
This year, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (OSH Day) and the World Day Against Child Labour have initiated a joint campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and to end child labour.
This joint venture aims to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030, and SDG target 8.7 of ending all forms of child labour by 2025.
Achieving these goals for the benefit of the young generation requires a rigorous and integrated national approach to eliminating all forms of child labour and most importantly promoting a culture of prevention on occupational safety health (OSH) at work.
Today we commemorate OSH Day, with the theme for 2018 - “Improving the Safety and Health of Young Workers”, and the opportunity to recognize workplaces that have complied with OSH standards for the past two years.
The government is of the view that acknowledging the efforts of employers and workers in promoting OSH in their own unique way gives rise to raising awareness, and most importantly provide a pathway for the young generation to think safety first.
The celebration of the World OSH day commenced this morning with special awareness programs which took place at the TATTE compound, FMFM Building and outside the ACC complex, and culminated with the 2nd Stewardship Awards tonight.
It is with hope that these Awards will continue to inspire employers and workers in understanding and appreciating the importance of OSH and to make it a priority in the workplace.
The Government firmly believes in providing decent, safe and healthy work environments for all workers including young workers to instill a culture of health and safety as crucial considerations in the work place.
To date MCIL through regular inspections have not observed, nor have there been any reports of child labour in the formal sector. However, there have been on three accounts observation of young workers under the age of 18 and over the age of 15 working in light work activities.
You will be glad to know that a list of hazardous and light work for children aged less than 18 years has been developed and currently awaiting Cabinet decision, as well as the National OSH Framework which the Ministry, the OSH Task Force and a TA consultant developed with a view of prioritizing OSH at a national approach.
MCIL have also developed pathways to improving OSH not only for young workers for Samoa as a whole through improving the collection and analysis of data and information on OSH, effective laws, regulations, policies and guidelines, and capacity building of government, employers and workers.
Tonight’s event also highlights the influence of the Tripartite structure through the participation of Government, Employers and Employees representing a positive spirit of collaboration on promoting and strengthening OSH in Samoa, and the efforts of the OSH Task Force.
I wish to also express our sincere gratitude to our sponsors for making this evening possible, namely; the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), and the contribution of sponsors such as: BSP, ANZ, SSAB, Maxkar, BSL, Tanoa Tusitala, Taumeasina Island Resort, Digicel, Bluesky.
Finally we recognize and acknowledge our partners; the National Health Services, Samoa Fire and Emergency Authority Services, and the Samoa Red Cross Society for your ongoing support including the difficult task of assessing award winners.
Thank you and have a blessed evening.