Govt committed to occupational safety

The Herald

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.