Government says it is worried by the increase in numbers of work related accidents which have seen 51 fatalities in the first eight months of the year.
A report by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) indicates that in the first eight months (Jan-Aug) 3 841 injuries and 51 fatalities have been recorded and the figure is likely to surpass last year’s recorded numbers.
In 2013, the country recorded 5 666 work related injuries and 76 deaths. In 2014, 5 736 injuries and 106 fatalities were recorded. While 5 380 injuries and 54 fatalities were recorded in 2015.
There was an increase in 2016, as 5364 injuries and 63 fatalities were recorded and an upward increase was also noted in 2017 where 5 007 serious injuries and 65 fatalities were recorded.
Speaking at a NSSA CEO’s breakfast meeting in the capital recently, Minister of Public Service, Labor And Social Welfare, Sekai Nzenza called on companies to put heads together as leaders in industries, to curb accidents and provide a safe and healthy environment for employees.
“The NSSA’s 2017 report indicates that most of these occupational accidents and diseases are happening in our key sectors. We are talking about the Mining and Quarrying sector, Commerce and Distribution, Personal Services and Security Guards, Local Authorities and Food, drink and tobacco processing.
Nzenza added: “… as an executive or manager your focus is not only on making profit but also guaranteeing the safety and health of all workers vis a vis providing a decent job”.
The country adopted the Vision Zero strategy last year, which calls for leadership commitment to put Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) as a priority in our industries.
This includes availing adequate resources or budgets, ensuring the running of effective Safety and Health Management Systems and thorough inspection of the work environment, with hazards being identified and eliminated in order to create a safe working environment for all workers.