Assistant Minister for Employment Opens 2019 World Day for Safety and Health at Work in the Northern Division
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The Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports Hon. Alvick Maharaj opened a one-day workshop to commemorate the Northern Division 2019 World Day for Safety and Health at Work at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa today.
The theme this year is “Safety and Health at the Heart of the Future of Work.”
Hon. Maharaj in his opening statement highlighted that the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated each year to remember those workers who have died, injured and those that have suffered some form of diseases that are work related.
“It is also a day to continue our resolve to promote and enhance the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases in Fiji and at the same time it opens the new global waves that affect our workplaces including OHS,” Hon. Maharaj said.
“With this year’s theme, we should reflect on what we have done within our organization in building a positive culture at work, new system and procedures for the future of work.”
Employers’ representative Mr. Noel Tofinga in his address highlighted that workers must take this year’s theme to heart.
He emphasised that workers tend to forget the occupational and personal perspective of OHS.
“If we are to look at the ratio of life expectancy rate in Fiji, quite a number of people die at the age of 57. Too many people put their workforce first and many employers demand from their workers.”
Tofinga pointed out that employment contracts are occupational aspects of OHS, therefore you must work according to your contract – that is being competent and don’t overwork yourself by going beyond your contractual agreement.
He pleaded as a worker and as an employers’ representative to the participants today, to look after their health and their families and to personalise the 2019 World Day theme.
Representative from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Ms. Surkafa Katafono further added that the ILO will soon release a report on how the future of work will look like for children on the 28th of April this year.
“There are six (6) areas of work that has been put together for the future of work and these are (1) Green Jobs, (2) Care Economy, (3) Gig Economy, (4) Rural Economy, (5) Global Supply Chain and (6) Robotic Age,” explained Katafono.
“As managers and supervisors in your respective workplaces and OHS practitioners, we must anticipate the new risks and implications in these areas of work.”
The Assistant Minister for Employment urged all employers, workers and key stakeholders to work together in building a preventative culture of healthy and safe work environment for the future of work in Fiji.
The workshop was attended by more than 50 participants from the public and private sectors in the Northern Division.