World Occupational Safety and Health Day celebrated

The World Occupational Safety and Health Day was marked on Wednesday at the National University of Samoa’s Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The celebration of the day revolved around the theme “anticipate, prepare and respond to the crisis and invest in occupational safety and health systems.”

N.U.S. accounting lecturer Sanita Ioapo Tuala started the event with an opening prayer at the university foyer with staff and students in attendance. 

The N.U.S. Dean of Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Rafia Naz, said in her opening remarks that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the lives of people from different walks of life.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had unrepresented challenges and has posed different impacts on the lives of different people including Government employers, workers and the general population such as us,” she said at the gathering.

“Not only in relation to the virus, but the impact that it has had on our lives and the different faces of the world of work that we are involved in.

“The World Day for Safety and Health is very important, it’s all about focusing and leveraging elements of the occupational safety and health systems.”

Dr Naz said this is important in order to promote the frameworks and the national and international conventions and policies.

“To be able to mitigate the challenges and to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at the workplace,” she added.

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL) official, Manu’a Fa’amatuainu, gave the keynote address and emphasised the importance of health and safety for workers at the workplace.

“It is an opportunity for the Ministry and for every work place to raise awareness (and) stimulate dialogue among its members, workers, employers and create and invest in resilient systems to mitigate and provide preventative measures at their workplaces,” she said.

“However, this is in line with the work of the Ministry in terms of its existing legislation, framework and recently we have developed new guidelines to support our employers and employees in combination with our current legislation requirements.”

A peer mentoring group also performed items during the celebration on Wednesday which promoted the significance of a worker’s health and safety, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Students from the university’s TVET programme also sang songs to celebrate the day.

The objective of the global celebration on Wednesday is to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases as well as create a safe and healthy work culture.

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