Thirty five people were killed at work or in work related accidents during the first five months in a period which recorded 1 972 injuries.Workers continue to die in work related accidents as most employers are not prioritising occupational health and safety issues amid fears that the accidents and deaths will increase as the country’s industry is showing signs of growth.
National Social Security Authority (NSSA) director for the occupational health and safety department, Mr. Rodgers Dhliwayo confirmed that the accidents are considered serious, adding that losing 30 lives in the first five months of the year is unacceptable, especially considering that local industry is performing far below capacity.
â€œAs NSSA we are worried about the frequency of work related accidents. We have had 35 deaths and this is not right for a country like Zimbabwe emerging from the woods. We have inspectors as well, but they are sometimes overwhelmed,â€ said Mr. Dhliwayo.
The work related accidents were mostly recorded in the mining sector, manufacturing as well as in the agricultural sector.
According to reports from NSSA, the use of improvised boilers is a major cause of accidents as most of these explode.
Zimbabwe has experienced some of its worst work related accidents in the past dating back to 1972 when 427 mine workers perished at Kamandama, Hwange Colliery after an explosion caused by methane gas at No. 1 mine shaft.
Other terrible occupational accidents include the CABS Millennium Towers along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare where 15 construction workers perished after a goods hoist failed and crashed in 2001.