Uganda last week joined the rest of the World to commemorate the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, at a function presided over by the State Minister for Gender, Peace Mutuuzo.
The function which took place at the CHOGM grounds in Kampala saw a number of companies and workers’ unions show case the safety measures that they have put in place at their places of work.
The Minister used the day to reveal that government is in the process of revising the regulatory framework on safety and health at work to align it with the current situations in the world of work.
“A National Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) profile is in place and has guided formulation of the draft National OSH Policy, after which, a national OSH programme will be formulated; all this is geared towards creating an enabling environment for enterprise development and competitiveness,” Mutuuzo said.
Statistics show that work-related accidents and illnesses lead to around 2 million fatalities per year world over while in Uganda the country is short of figures of occupational accidents and diseases mainly because of poor reporting on the part of duty holders.
The Minister said government understands that many deaths and injuries aren’t reported, where by the poorest, least protected, least informed and least trained workers face the highest risks of which most are women, children and people with disabilities.
The minister appreciated the efforts by several companies and organizations including NWSC, UMEME, Cocacola, Eskom and UNATU among others for their initiatives in making workplaces safer.
UMEME Head of Safety, Herbert Kanyali said that the world day for safety and health at work must serve as a wake-up call, highlighting that many work place accidents are entirely preventable through the use of tried and tested practices and adherence to standards.
“This day is very important for us because we have workers who we must ensure that they are safe; we work with a very dangerous product which is electricity and we must be very careful with the lives of our workers as well,” Kanyali said.
“We make sure that all our workers have equipment such as, helmets, safety jackets, shoes, overall, fall-arrest harness to ensure they don’t fall off while climbing, bucket elevators to reach high heights among others,” Kanyali emphasized.