Campaign To Improve Data Collating

The following is a transcript of the opening address by the Minister at the 2017 World Day for Safety at Work on Friday, April 28 at the Government Training Centre
30 Apr 2017 10:24
Campaign To Improve  Data Collating
Minister for Employment Productivity and Industry Jone Usamate leaves the parliament on April 28th, 2017. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

The following is a transcript of the opening address by the Minister at the 2017 World Day for Safety at Work on Friday, April 28 at the Government Training Centre in Nasese, Suva.



The Director ILO Country Office for Pacific Island Countries,

Representatives from the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation,

Representatives from the Fiji Trades Union Congress,

Representatives from Government,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen.


A very good morning to you all.

I am very delighted to be here this morning to observe the 2017 World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

I would like to acknowledge and commend the International Labour Organisation for its continuing efforts in promoting the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

This year’s theme for World Day for Safety and Health at Work is “Optimise the collection and use of OSH data”.

ILO’s campaign for this year’s World Day for Safety and Health focuses on the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilise reliable Occupational Safety and Health [OSH] data.

I understand that the theme contributes to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 8, which deals with inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, something which my Ministry strives to fulfil.

Further Target 8.8 in particular focuses on the “protection of labour rights and promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers” and countries are asked to report on the frequency rates of fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries to workers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an awareness-raising campaign “intended to focus on the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilise occupational safety and health [OSH] data”. This day serves as a reminder to us all on all our responsibilities as an employer and an employee.

The Ministry with the support of the tripartite partners and the ILO would like to collectively put a challenge to all present here today to mark this very important day with the aim on improving their reporting of fatal and non–fatal accidents by:

Ensuring that there are proper reporting systems for reporting all accidents in the workplace and workers and management are aware of the processes involved; and

Develop processes for reporting of incidents and near misses as they will assist in the identification of hazards and timely initiation of preventative measures to prevent or reduce workplace accidents.

It is vitally important that the information you retrieve is accurate and relevant. For information to be accurate, it must be reliable, valid and current. It must also be complete with no gaps that would affect its accuracy. We must at all times endure to obtain the most reliable and valid data which in turn generate up-to-date reports and trends.

When we speak of reliable and valid it is appropriate for us to know that reliability refers to the consistency or any repeated information, while validity addresses whether the information or the measure actually addresses what it is intended to measure.

Reliability may be affected by factors such as sample size or the period over which information is collected. For some information such as occurrence statistics, data must be collected over a period of time to obtain reliable information.

The use of positive or lead indicators to measure Health and Safety performance is an increasing trend in Health and Safety Management. They are useful as „performance drivers as they measure the activities that drive good Health and Safety performance. However, they are also an example of the importance of evaluating reliability and validity.

In storing information, it is important to remember that information is being stored so that it can be used. It is important not to create, data cemeteries. Therefore, when deciding how to store information, keep in mind:

Why the information is being stored?

Who will want to use it?

When and how often will they want to access the information?

What protections (privacy, confidentiality) are required for the information?

What „links„, or other factors, need to be considered for the data to be meaningful?

My Ministry collates data for “fatal” and “non-fatal” injuries and death via the official reporting done on the OHS and Workmen’s Compensation Forms. The information received on these forms is then entered into a database by individual officers in all the Ministry offices around the country.

The collation of this data enables the Ministry to identify areas that need workplace training and awareness and target high risk employers and develop strategies to reduce accidents.

Apart from the above, my Ministry also collates data on:

hazard, incident reports and injury and illness reports;

workers compensation claims records and other compensation details;

investigation reports and workplace inspections;

records of workplace hygiene monitoring and exposure level records;

minutes of meetings for health and safety committee;

risk assessments reports and audits including enforcement notices and actions;

collated information such as trend analyses of incident and injury reports;

Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals and hazardous substances/chemical registers;

documentation related to registered plants and equipment and machinery;

training records and information related to performance measures for the health and safety management process (OHS Management System Implementation).

My Ministry continues to work with all its stakeholders, such as employers, workers and Government Ministries and Departments to ensure that we all strive to reduce accidents in the workplace.

However, some of the challenges in having reliable and accurate OSH data are:

Procedures for recording and reporting of injuries and fatalities by Government bodies, insurance companies and health facilities differ, resulting in discrepancy in data collected.

Late reporting of injuries and fatalities years after it occurs.

Reluctance to report immediately or the use of delaying tactics in terms of awaiting medical reports.

Determining whether a case reported is compensable.

Delay in reporting or any omission hinders the appropriate treatment and compensation of the injured or deceased workers.

ILO 2017 current estimates show:

Work related accidents causing injuries: 313 million

Work related fatal accidents: 350,000

Occupational and work related fatal diseases: 2 million

Work related deaths: 2.35 million

Lost GDP on occupational accidents and diseases: 4%

Representatives from Government, industry and employers and workers organizations should actively participate and promote better reporting of fatal and non-fatal injuries as doing so will better assist Government to facilitate resources to identify areas of need.

Finally I wish to acknowledge the important role of the tripartite National OHS Advisory Board that encourages dialogue and consensus on matters relating to, and in creating safe and healthy workplaces in Fiji.

For the programme participants, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy the training that will be provided today.

Our challenge after this is to help you to put together strategies that will help in the better collection of and data collation to create safer and healthy workplaces in Fiji.

With these words, Ladies and Gentleman, I on behalf of the Fijian Government wish you all the very best towards marking this notable day in our working lives, the “World Day for Safety and Health at Work”, a very fruitful learning experience and I now have much pleasure in opening this workshop.

Ladies and gentlemen let us all support Promoting Safety and Health in a collective way.

Thank you, Vinaka Vakalevu, Dhanyavaad.


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