Ministry appeals for occupational health and safety compliance

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) has appealed to Government Ministries, State Owned Enterprises and the private sector in Samoa to comply with occupational safety and health to avoid further stress as the country tries to deal with the threat of COVID-19.

The appeal was issued by the Chief Executive Officer of M.C.I.L., Pulotu Lyndon Chu-Ling, in a public notice reminding stakeholders that the National Occupational Safety and Health Framework 2018 provides key requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health (O.S.H.) that must be met.

“An overall policy around safety and health in the workplace including an emergency evacuation plan,” reads the notice.

It also stressed that the workplace must have an accident register and first aid kits provided to respond to accidents in the workplace.

“Strategically placed and serviced fire extinguisher(s) to respond to emergency situations.

“Provision of relevant Personal Protective Equipment to carry out work safely; relevant training for the job to ensure safety and health is observed and that these training are recorded.

“And to put in place necessary measures to ensure hazards and associated risks are managed especially in high risk and hazardous occupations.”

According to a report issued by M.C.I.L., called “Monitoring and Evaluation” for the period ending 31 March 2020, of 26 Government Ministries, Constitutional Agencies and Statutory Bodies, there was zero compliance.

“From inspections of the 26 Government Ministries, Constitutional Agencies and Statutory Bodies, the overall compliance level was observed at 0 percent,” the report reads.

“The most common OSH issues/findings were: no O.S.H. policy, no evacuation plan, no Accident Register, first aid kits issues, absent of a qualified first aid person, appropriate work space issues, exposure of workers to potentially hazardous wires and cables, fire protection system issues, building issues…”

The report was compiled following the Ministry’s inspections and site visits from July 2019 to 31 March 2020. 

It also highlighted the urgent need for Government Ministries to prioritize the lives of the workers by putting in place appropriate safety and health standards.

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