Ministry develops health, safety data registry

The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L) is collaborating with the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.) to develop an electronic registry to centralise occupational health and safety-related data.

The Ministry, in a press release issued via its website, said that the objective of the M.C.I.L.–I.L.O. collaboration is to develop a centralised database and referral system for occupational health and safety (O.H.S.) matters.

The system is anticipated to integrate and link national O.H.S. registry systems in Samoa for efficient and effective updating and use amongst the responsible organisations for referral and reporting.

The Ministry's press release stated that Samoa has identified O.H.S. data and information gaps during the 2017 World O.H.S. Day.

Moreover, any O.H.S. related fatalities will only involve the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority (F.E.S.A.), the Ministry of Police and Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) as organisations staffed by first responders. These cases may never be reported to the M.C.I.L. and the Accident Compensation Corporation (A.C.C.) or only well after incidents occur.

Following the identification of these data and information gaps, the M.C.I.L. was subsequently assigned with the task of leading the work to centralise O.H.S. data and link them to responsible organisations. 

The M.C.I.L. and the A.C.C. signed a Memorandum of Understanding for O.H.S. data and information sharing in 2018. Another three additional M.o.U.s were signed in April 2020 between M.C.I.L., F.E.S.A., the M.O.H. and the Police.  

To complement the work done so far, the United Nations Multi-Country Office via the Social Protection Project in Samoa and the I.L.O. Office are supporting developments to address national labour and O.H.S. related issues.

Priority will be given to increase the level of awareness and ensure the application of procedures for the notification of occupational accidents by employers and when appropriate, insurance institutions. Others directly concerned will also be involved in discussions with the compilation of annual statistics on occupational accidents and diseases.

A developed and central data management system will set the basis for the future review of the O.H.S. legislation over the next two to three years. 

One of the key areas that require improved monitoring is vulnerability in terms of hazardous and high-risk work.

The commitment between key agencies established through the M.o.U.s marks an important milestone for M.C.I.L. to continue to continue efforts to consolidate data collection across Government Ministries. 

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