ENGINEERS have been urged to develop cutting-edge engineering interventions to help reduce work-related deaths. 

Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima said this in his keynote address at the Zimbabwe Engineers Occupational Safety and Health workshop held in Mutare on Wednesday.

The workshop, held under the theme: Safe and Healthy Work Environment: A fundamental principle and right at work, was organised by the National Social Security Authority.   

Mavima said: “Data shows that deaths that have occurred as a result of work-related accidents are 19% globally. However, Zimbabwe is well beyond 30% annually and efforts are required to reduce carnage. The necessity and demand to fix this humane issue is of paramount importance.

“As engineers you play a pivotal role in creating safe and healthy working environments through insightful engineering interventions. The modern world is increasingly reliant on engineering.

“The best way to ensure workplace safety and health is to prevent accidents and incidents from occurring in the first place. This requires identifying and controlling hazards, providing proper training and promoting safe work practices.”

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He added: “Workplace robotics and artificial intelligence, flexible work models and the burgeoning gig economy are some of the factors driving change. My ministry and indeed your government is committed to protect the safety and health of all workers across all branches of economic activities.

“We take safety and health paramount and a prerequisite for sound economic development and poverty reduction. It is therefore the vision of your government that any occupational safety and health programme must inculcate a culture of prevention.”