Uganda: Govt to inspect Companies' Compliance with Safety Law
The govt is set to carry out an inspection on the status of all workplaces in industries to see what measures they have put in place to protect workers.
The Ugandan Government is set to carry out an operation to crack down on all industries and factories which do not comply with safety of workers. This is according to reports published in the New Vision.
The paper quoted the Permanent Secretatry in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Pius Bigirimana, who said that all workplaces ensure the safety of their workers to protect them inline of duty, as per the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2006.
â€œWe are going to carry out an inspection and check the status of all workplaces in industries to see what measures they have put in place to protect workers. Those who do not comply, will be closed. I have the powers and this ministry has that mandate to make sure people work under a conducive environment,â€ he said.
Speaking during the launch of the employers (manufacturers and industrialists) sensitization workshop on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Safety and Security Measures at workplaces in Kampala, The PS said that those found unregistered contrary to the OSH Act, 2006, would be given 21 days within which to comply or be closed, as per the law. He said all workplaces must promote the safety and security of various chemicals.
â€œThe CBRNE are indispensable in many economic activities; however there misuse or failure to follow best practice is costly as they pose a wide range of safety, health and security hazards,â€ he added.
He stressed that though Uganda is a non-possessor state of chemical weapons, it is pursuing peaceful and developmental agenda on the use of chemicals and other Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives.
â€œSome of the chemicals used in industries could pose threat to the population if not managed well. As the East African Community moves towards more open borders, within the integration context, it is important to underscore the need for greater chemical safety and security in both national and sub-region. But it starts from our homes and workplaces,â€ he added.
A recent study done by the ministry on the usage and protection of chemicals at various workplaces, indicates that 55% of the 22 sampled stations were not registered contrary to OSH Act, 2006. Innocent Batambuze, a senior occupational hygienist, said 41% of the workplaces had improper ventilation while 72% lacked emergency preparedness and response like eye wash and safety showers.
The Federation of Uganda Employers, Executive Director, Opio Douglas said there is need to increase inspection to check compliance and to up the awareness campaign in all workplaces to promote safety and management of chemicals at all levels.
Source: New Vision