Magistrate: 160 workplace deaths a year

Picture: FILE.

AT LEAST 160 cases of fatalities caused by health and safety accidents within workplaces in Fiji are reported each year.

This was revealed by resident magistrate Andrew See during the Fijian Human Resources Institute (FHRI) workshop on employee relations, advocacy and investigative skills for human resources (HR) held at the Holiday Inn Suva on Saturday.

Mr See said occupational health and safety (OHS) was an area that needed to be looked at especially within workplaces.

“People need to start identifying these issues and controlling them — you know removing those risks because in the country, each year there’s about 160 at least reportable fatalities through with health and safety accidents and that’s a lot of people,” he said.

Mr See said these incidents and injuries at workplaces were a very big cost to the Fijian economy.

“So HR has a role in this as well to be able to identify some of these issues to upskill people and to divert people in the right direction.”

Mr See said on Friday, he had seen someone water blasting on top of about five levels of scaffolding without a safety harness.

He said HR needed to outline their safety procedures when engaging workers who conducted high risk jobs within their workplaces.

“It seems to me that’s probably an area where we need to look at, you know that type of thing is an accident waiting to happen.

“I don’t think we’re doing that well enough at the present time, that’s probably why we have got a lot of accidents like falls from height or falling objects, and they all can be avoided and reduced to a certain degree.”

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