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Letters Of The Week Winner

It’s a sad day for National OHS Service – Ministry of Labour Sera Vosarogo, Suva Where is the Chief Health and Safety Inspector or Permanent Secretary (PS)? Part of his/her
04 Jun 2017 12:00
Letters Of The Week Winner

It’s a sad day for National OHS Service – Ministry of Labour

Sera Vosarogo, Suva

Where is the Chief Health and Safety Inspector or Permanent Secretary (PS)?

Part of his/her responsibilities is to see proper implementation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1996 and its regulation.

What happened to the workers who conducted the renovations? I hope they were equipped with proper standard personal protective equipment.

Were the asbestos dust contained at Civic Centre or did they take it with them via public transport and have their clothes laundry at home by innocent family members?

Now the ministry is working on the Safe Removal Procedure, and training of workers in handling hazardous material such as asbestos embedded material. What a reactive approach. Someone is sleeping on the job.

The only qualified asbestos personnel in Government now is PS Defence, Osea Cawaru.

I hope he will make a statement soon to calm the situation and panic from public.

With asbestos dust, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it or see it. It’s very tiny and once you inhale the asbestos dust it stays in your lungs forever unless one undergoes surgery.

It will not show symptoms soon but will take five, 10 to 15 years to fully develop depending on a person’s health status.

Someone needs to be taken to task.

Chief Health and Safety inspector – you need to empower your new inspectors.

Send them on specialised training so they can be very creative and be bold to go out and identify old statutory buildings or government buildings before any renovation.

The Suva City Council civic centre renovation has been known for the past three to four years. Your office has been next to it.

Why wasn’t a team formed to discuss the renovations timeline and identification of material and how will they contain the nuisance dust?

Perhaps through that process you will be the first (rather than a non-government organisation) to identify the material.

What happened to the proactive approach from Occupational Hygiene Unit? Is it no more?

Hope this will be a big lesson for the department.

Asbestos dust causes a few types of cancer. You can look it up on Google search.

Right now, I am concerned about the workers who conduct the removal prior to the stop work order given. Period. Enough said.

Sera Vosarogo will receive a Parker pen as our Letter of the Week winner.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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