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Ministry wins occupational health award

The Ministry of Communication, Information and Technology (M.C.I.T.) has won an award for its occupational health and safety record in the Government ministry category.

The Minister of Commerce Industry and Labour,  Lautafi Fio Selafi, presented the award which was held on Wednesday night as part of a program to mark the World Occupational Health and Safety Day.

The Occupational Safety and Health (‘OSH’) Stewardship Awards was held to recognize workplaces that have made the commitment to comply with the relevant legislative requirements.

The award to the M.C.I.T. was receive by its C.E.O., Fualau Talatalaga Matau Matafeo.

Lautafi acknowledged and congratulated Minister Afamasaga Rico Tupai, the Ministry, and the management for prioritizing the safety and health of their workers and ensuring compliance with O.S.H. requirements in Samoa.

Albert Meredith, M.C.I.L. Assistant C.E.O. (Industrial Relations, Employment Permits, Occupational Safety, and Health Division), told Samoa Observer that the awards were measured under three categories: compliance, initiative, training and awareness.

"For compliance, it is in relation to the provisions specified in the OSH Act. There are requirements for policy, evacuation plans, and accidents registered. So those were some of the things we looked at, but there are about 10 to 12 different requirements," he said.

"So those were some of the requirements that were used to measure and score weighting for compliance. The second criterion for initiative was regarding having a policy in place but also enforcements by the employers and the employees."

The M.C.I.L. has also undertaken awareness programs to ensure employers raise awareness amongst their staff of workplace issues, according to Mr Meredith.

"For awareness programs were mostly about the employers putting in place awareness. For instance, having their plans placed around the workplace so that everyone is aware of it and having training on specific issues regarding safety and health," Mr Meredith said.

"So all these three categories were applied to the different sectors, government ministries, state-owned enterprises, and corporations."

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