paurina mpariwa.jpgThe government has urged companies and other employers to ensure that occupational health and safety training programmes are undertaken in order to reduce the risk of injury, disease and deaths at the workplace.

 

Speaking at the launch of the Occupational Health and Safety programme of the National Employment Council for Harare Municipality, the Minister of Labour and Social Services, Ms Paurina Mpariwa said it is imperative for employers to implement occupational health and safety programmes as it is a fundamental element in the workplace hazard control programme.

 

“Let me point out from the onset that OHS training is imperative and is a fundamental element in reducing the risk of injury and disease at workplace,” said Minister Mpariwa.

 

Mr. James Matiza, the General Manager of National Social Security Association (NSSA) which is running the training programmes, urged employers to make the work environment safe as there is no justification of loss of life at the workplace in preference of profit making.

 

The event saw 30 officials receiving certificates in Occupational Safety Management.

 

“The example set by the City Council should go a long way in giving a challenge to other employers to take up occupational safety management measures,” said Mr. Matiza.

 

The International Labour Organisation estimates that 2,3 million deaths due to occupational hazards occur every year, translating to 4% loss to the Gross Domestic Product.

 

Minister Mpariwa however expressed optimism that many employers would take up this initiative given that government and NSSA inspectors can close organisations that do not meet the standards to prevent occupational hazards.