PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Nicholas Goche has said the number of deaths and serious accidents at work are a cause for concern and must be significantly reduced.
By Business Reporter
Speaking at the National Conference on Safety and Health at Work (SHAW) in Harare on Wednesday, Goche said the National Social Security Authority had this year already recorded 49 deaths at work and 3 641 serious work-related injuries.
He said last year over the same period, there were 63 workplace deaths recorded and 3 218 serious work injuries.
“These statistics are a cause for concern and must be significantly lowered. This calls for a process to properly profile and analyse incidents that cause these injuries and fatalities, if we are to arrest this undesirable trend,” Goche said.
He said safety and health should be cherished and carefully nurtured by all progressive Zimbabweans.
“There is an urgent need to redouble our efforts to realise zero harm, zero accidents and ultimately zero deaths in our workplaces,” he said.
The minister went on to challenge conference participants to reflect on what they could do to contribute to achieving zero harm at their workplaces.
“Zero harm is achievable, but it requires you and me to work earnestly towards achieving it,” he said.
Goche acknowledged the importance of the SHAW conference in ensuring the safety and health of Zimbabwe’s labour force.
He said the ministry was working on finalising the Occupational Safety and Health Bill, which, once it became law, should significantly and positively influence the course of occupational safety and health in Zimbabwe.
“We expect to see a positive change in the culture, the attitude and perceptions on safety and health in our country,” he said, adding that his ministry was also nearing completion of a long overdue new occupational safety and health policy.
He further said the ministry was working on benchmarking Zimbabwean laws with international best practice.t