Government has hailed local engineers efforts in guaranteeing workers health and safety amid concerns that companies should do more to improve occupational safety for their employees.
By Costa Nkomo
This was revealed during a National Social Security Authority (NSSA) Vision Zero campaign workshop held in Harare today.
Zimbabwe has recorded 276 deaths out of 21 238 accidents recorded between 2014 and February 2018, an indication that companies need to improve occupational safety and health mechanisms for their workers.
Speaking at the official opening of the workshop in Harare today, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Petronella Kagonye hailed engineers’ interests and efforts in guaranteeing workers health and safety.
“I am pleased with your attendance which signifies your unwavering commitment towards safe working environments and the protection of employees against occupational hazards.”
“My ministry and indeed the government is committed to the provision of decent work for all workers. Safety and health at work places is everyone’s right,” said Kagonye.
She further challenged engineers to pull up their efforts towards establishing harm free occupational strategies arguing that failure to do so will lead to the loss of human lives.
“If we value occupational safety and health of our employees we should strive to eradicate occupational injury. As safety and health gatekeepers’ failure on your part results in catastrophic consequences on the precious human lives,” she added.
NSSA has launched the Vision Zero mobile campaign taking a leaf from the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in a bid to encourage organisations and stakeholders to closely look at health safety risks await employees at various work places. The workshop touched on the possible challenges that organisations encounter as they embrace Vision Zero harm encapsulated in United Nations agenda 2030.
However, stakeholders at the workshop expressed displeasure over NSSA’s failure to bring out the health safety bill which the national life insurer institution pledged years ago.
The workshop is running under the theme ‘Engineer’s Workshop on Occupational Safety and Health’ anchored on the Vision Zero campaign against work related accidents, injuries and diseases.
Meanwhile, engineers that attended the NSSA workshop noted that mining and agriculture sectors topped work related injuries and fatalities in the new millennium due to poor occupational health safety mechanisms.