Govt com­mit­ted to oc­cu­pa­tional safety

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Midlands & North-West News - Michael Magoronga Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

GOV­ERN­MENT will con­tinue en­sur­ing that work­ers are pro­tected through en­act­ing re­spon­sive leg­is­la­tion and seek­ing to im­prove safety and health stan­dards in the work­place, the Min­is­ter of State for Mid­lands Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Owen Ncube has said.

Speak­ing dur­ing the Mid­lands Pro­vin­cial World Day for Safety and Health at Work Com­mem­o­ra­tions in Kwekwe on Tues­day, Min­is­ter Ncube said the Min­istry of Labour and So­cial Wel­fare was work­ing with var­i­ous de­part­ments to con­tin­u­ously im­prove the health and safety stan­dards in the coun­try.

“Our Gov­ern­ment through the Min­istry of Labour and So­cial Wel­fare to­gether with Zim­babwe Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Coun­cil (ZOSHC) and Na­tional So­cial Se­cu­rity Author­ity will con­tinue to em­brace and de­velop com­pre­hen­sive strate­gies for im­prove­ment in the na­tional health and safety stan­dards in the coun­try,” he said. He how­ever, said Gov­ern­ment efforts would be in vain if they are not com­pli­mented by play­ers in the in­dus­try.

“My call to­day is to se­nior lead­er­ship in or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­tures, es­pe­cially boards of di­rec­tors, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers and ex­ec­u­tives. They should take and ac­tive and vis­i­ble role in guar­an­tee­ing em­ployee safety and health by car­ry­ing out ac­tiv­i­ties that pro­mote safety, health and well-be­ing of their work­ers,” said Min­is­ter Ncube.

He said this year’s theme “Vi­sion Zero, Safety and Health and Well-be­ing for Young Work­ers” was in tan­dem with the new po­lit­i­cal dis­pen­sa­tion’s vi­sion for 2030 to de­velop the na­tion to a mid­dle in­come sta­tus.

He how­ever, said de­spite Gov­ern­ment’s efforts, the num­ber of oc­cu­pa­tional haz­ards and dis­eases con­tinue to soar.

“It is sad­den­ing to note that de­spite in­ten­sive efforts by reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties such as NSSA, the num­ber of oc­cu­pa­tional ac­ci­dents is still de­pres­sively high for the econ­omy,” he said.

In 2017, 5 007 se­ri­ous in­juries with 65 fa­tal­i­ties were recorded while 434 in­juries and 6 deaths were recorded in the first two months of 2018.

Min­is­ter Ncube also cas­ti­gated child labour say­ing Gov­ern­ment has rat­i­fied two con­ven­tions re­lated to child labour.

“As Gov­ern­ment we con­tinue to pro­tect our chil­dren and gives them an op­por­tu­nity to grow,” he said.

Speak­ing at the same oc­ca­sion NSSA re­gional man­ager for the Mid­lands prov­ince Mr Vusa Md­longwa urged or­gan­i­sa­tions to take time to train work­ers on safety and health.

“Our safety and health teams have been go­ing round the coun­try rais­ing awareness on the new global campaign of Vi­sion Zero. He said this year’s com­mem­o­ra­tions come at a time when na­tional sta­tis­tics are still far from in­spir­ing.

Min­is­ter Ncube

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