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71 die at workplace

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PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Nicholas Goche has revealed that 71 people have succumbed to work-related accidents while 3 598 were seriously injured this year.

Christopher Mahove/Feluna Nleya

He said there was need for a paradigm shift in the work place safety culture among the social partners if the war against occupational accidents was to be won.

In his address during a national conference on safety and health at the workplace in Harare last Thursday, Goche said there was need to inculcate a culture of public safety among all stakeholders to minimise occupational hazards.

Goche said his ministry was currently working on the harmonisation of the Occupational Safety and Health (OHS) Bill which, once enacted into law, is set to improve safety and health standards in the manufacturing, transportation, storage and use of chemicals in the workplace.

He said the Bill would be aided by the Zimbabwe National Occupational Safety and Health Policy, which he launched last week, in promoting safety and health at work in the use of chemicals.

Speaking at the same occasion, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president, George Nkiwane, said the statistics were worrying considering that the country’s industrial sector was only operating at 30%.

He said a recent study revealed that 23% of the accidents were due to faults caused by management through application of wrong policies, inadequate hazard recognition, wrong instructions, as well as personal factors, while at operator’s level it was due to misjudgment, and underestimating chemical safety.

Meanwhile, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) has expressed concern over the increase in cases of schoolchildren being knocked down by motorists.

In a statement, TSCZ traffic safety officer Tatenda Chinoda said: “The number of schoolchildren being killed on our roads is worrisome. There could be numerous other unreported cases. The solution is very simple yet some drivers appear to be unlearning.”
Chinoda appealed to drivers to exercise extreme caution when approaching schoolchildren.

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