HomeNewsSafety conference calls for central disposal site for chemicals

Safety conference calls for central disposal site for chemicals

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THE Safety and Health at Work (SHAW) Conference resolved on Friday that a central disposal site for chemical waste and expired chemicals should be established in Zimbabwe, in the light of the dangers and hazards posed by chemicals.

BUSINESS REPORTER

It also resolved that the National Social Security Authority should establish a programme to improve on the safe use of agro chemicals.

The theme for this year’s SHAW conference was, Building a culture of safety and health in the use of chemicals at work.

The aim of the conference was to promote a culture of safe use of chemicals in the workplace, to share outcomes of research on manufacturing, distribution, storage and handling of chemicals and to create a platform to share experiences in promoting excellence in safety, health and environmental practices at work.

The resolution to establish a central disposal site was proposed after it had been pointed outthat, while there had been discussion on implementing chemical management systems such as the storage of chemicals, nothing had been discussed about a facility for the disposal of expired chemicals.

The suggestion wasthat the regulatory authority shouldestablish a central disposal site where expired chemicals or waste from used chemicals could be disposed of.

Each year at the end of the three-day conference delegates come up with resolutions intended to improve safety and health at work.

Officially opening the conference on Thursday Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche said there were numerous cases of chemical poisoning in Zimbabwe and the rest of the world. He said employers had been provided with a mechanism to obtain information about chemicals so they can implement effective programmes to protect employees.

He said work on a comprehensive Safety and Health Bill was at an advanced stage.

“My ministry is currently working on a much awaited conventional Safety and Health Bill, which is now at an advanced stage. The OSH [Occupation, Safety and Health] Bill will improve safety and health standards in the manufacturing, handling, transportation, storage and use of chemicals in the workplace,” he said.

He said a few weeks ago he had signed the Zimbabwe National Occupational Safety and Health Policy, which should go a long way in promoting safety and health at work, including where the use of chemicals was concerned.

He urged every employer to obtain a copy of this policy to further facilitate the protection of workers by identifying occupational hazards.

“OSH plays a major role for all the economic sectors to flourish. No country ever cherishes the killing or maiming of its workforce through uncontrolled occupational hazards and Zimbabwe is no exception,” Goche said.

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