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‘OHS Workshop Vital’

‘OHS Workshop Vital’
Participants at the OHS Prosecution Workshop at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka on Wednesday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
August 21
09:01 2015

In order to improve productivity, it is most important that we develop and maintain a successful safety and healthy work culture, says Jioji Konrote.

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations was officiating at the OHS Prosecution Workshop at Tanoa Waterfront Hotel, Lautoka on Wednesday.

“For a small and developing country such as Fiji, it is most important that we develop and maintain a successful safety and healthy work culture, one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is established and respected at all levels of the workplace,” the Minister said.

He said the workshop was to build capacity in the ministry’s OHS field operations, workers compensation and labour compliance officers, to successfully prosecute breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Workmen’s Compensation legislation.

Mr Konrote added that the Fiji labour reform programme has been ongoing for many years with previous government administrators.

“An important phase of these reforms has been the repeal of the outdated Factories Act and subsidiary legislations. This resulted in the promulgation of modern and globalised Occupation, Health and Safety (OHS) regulations in 1996, 1997, 2003 and 2006 and the establishment of the national OHS service within the ministry to co-ordinate and implement the newly-enacted OHS regulations,” he said.

“These revised and enacted OHS regulations were designed to minimise the number of workplace injuries and fatalities, thus reducing the number of workers compensation claims, but more importantly to maintain continuity and satisfactory nationwide.”

He said the prosecution workshop was a very important aspect and phase of the ministry’s reform programme.

“It is a designed to assist the participants and senior management staff in successfully prosecuting employers who breach the provisions of the OHS and the workmen’s compensation regulations.”

“Recently there is a tendency for employers to refer compensation claims to the courts therefore it is now incumbent and important that the ministry’s enforcement officers understand and are properly versed with the procedures and process to build successful cases for prosecution,” he concluded.

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