work-accident.jpgThe National Social Security Authority (NSSA) says the year 2011 saw the country witnessing 71 deaths in workplace related accidents, reflecting a decrease from the 84 recorded in 2010.

71 people were killed at work or in work related accidents during the first 11 months of the year in a period in which 3 744 injuries were registered.

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 begins to show signs of growth.

NSSA Acting Director for the Occupational Health and Safety Department, Dr Humphrey Mapuranga confirmed that the number of deaths is alarming considering that industry is performing far below capacity.

“As NSSA, we are worried about the frequency of work related accidents. We have had 71 deaths and this is not right for a country like Zimbabwe, which is emerging from the woods. We have inspectors as well, but they are sometimes overwhelmed,” said Dr Mapuranga.

The work related accidents were mostly recorded in the mining sector, manufacturing as well as in the agricultural sector.

Zimbabwe has experienced some of its worst work related accidents in the past dating back to 1972 when 427 mine workers perished at Hwange Colliery’s Kamandama Mine.

Other terrible occupational accidents include the CABS Millennium Towers along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare when15 construction workers died in 2001.