Engineers challenged to design zero-harm products

BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE

The Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry has challenged engineers to design products that can minimise injuries at workplaces.

Addressing a National Social Security Authority workshop in Harare, permanent secretary Judith Katerera, who stood in for Public Service minister Sekai Nzenza, said worker safety was a collective responsibility of government, employers and employees.

“None of these three can do it alone and succeed. It is in vain that I am very concerned about employees who continue to ignore the minimum safety standards set by the government through legislation,” she said.

Katerera said it was imperative for engineers attending the workshop to address work injuries from the design stage of products used in workplaces.

“We talked of behaviour-based safety as the cure-all panacea to our safety woes. We conveniently forgot that to attain zero-harm we needed to start at the beginning, which is at the design stage,” Katerera said

“Tragically, sometimes we see sleaze and malpractice pervading these processes. It is clear that poor design results in hazard causation and also ensures continuation and repetition of injury-causing incidents.”

She said engineers were the key to pursue the Zimbabwean adopted policy known as the Vision Zero strategy that argues for safer workplaces.

“You engineers are the key leaders being referred to. You hold the future of occupational safety and health of this country in your hands. It is incumbent upon you to lead by example,” Katerera stated.

The annual workshop was aimed at providing a platform for scientific and professional interactions in the advancement of safety, health and well-being at workplaces.

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