TOP STORIES

NSSA annual indaba ends on a high note

THE 60th National Social Security Authority (NSSA) annual national conference on safety and health at work (SHAW) ended on a high note in Victoria Falls on Friday amid calls for enhanced promotion of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) to ensure zero harm in the workplace.

The Government is playing its part by crafting a new Occupational Safety Bill that will help domesticate some International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and ratify them while the crafting of an OSH Bill is currently underway.

OSH experts from a cross-section of the economy gathered for the three-day conference that ended with the conferment of awards to organisations and individuals that distinguished themselves in prioritising the safety and health of workers in the workplace.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, officiated at the event’s opening and closing ceremonies where he reiterated the call for entrenching safety and health standards at the workplace so as to have a healthy workforce, which is critical to the attainment of the country’s development agenda.

Among the resolutions of the conference was the need for increased promotion of mental health programmes in the workplace, the need to develop an OSH profile information system in accordance with guidelines of the International Labour Organisation so that the Zimbabwean OSH system is available to stakeholders and promotion of OSH in the informal sector.

Further calls were made for the ratification of the ILO Convention 187 on the promotional framework of occupational safety and health in view of the fact that this convention alongside Convention 155 is now fundamental.

Delegates also resolved to consider OSH penalties, especially in view of the impending new OSH Act, and continued sharing of good OSH practices from various sectors and companies so that these can be shared at future editions of SHAW conferences.

Some of the award winners pose with Public Service Minister July Moyo (second from right) at the end of the NSSA Annual Conference in Victoria Falls on Friday.

Delegates were exposed to exemplary OSH good practices, the development of a resilient sustainable OSH system, OSH laws and standards, mental health in the workplace, and construction safety 

The conference was also significant in that it brought in occupational safety and health experiences from other nations such as Tanzania, Turkey, and Trinidad and Tobago. 

In his remarks, Minister Moyo commended the conference organisers NSSA, saying the event was well structured to entrench a mindset and culture of zero harm among all social partners.

“I urge you to operationalise these outcomes so that we realize progress on improved OSH conditions across all sectors of the economy. 

“We appreciate the organisations that have embraced the fundamental principle that a safe and healthy work environment is not just a privilege but a right and ensuring well-being of workers,” he said.

The minister said the Government has ratified six major OSH conventions including fundamental Convection 155 on OSH, Convention 161 on occupational health services, and Convention 170 on safety in the use of chemicals.

Plans are already underway to ratify one other fundamental convention 187 on the promotional framework of OSH. 

Minister July Moyo (seated middle) poses for a photo with some of the NSSA Annual Conference delegates in Victoria Falls.

“These conventions, among others, are important OSH instruments to provide robust guidance on sustainable improvements towards the realisation of safe and healthy work environments,” said Minister Moyo.  

“The Government has also found it fit to ensure that the provisions of these Conventions find expression in the new OSH Bill that is expected to become law in the near future. 

“The Government will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Bill quickly moves up the approval process. I am happy there is convergence by social partners on all provisions within the Bill. I urge all of us to have deeper understanding of the provision of the OSH Policy Bill and ILO Conventions and their recommendations as the Government commits itself to ensure that all these instruments are implemented fully both at law and in practice, said Minister Moyo.

To that end, he said, organisations are encouraged to incorporate the provisions of these instruments in their organisational OSH governance systems such that even as the new law comes into effect, organisations will be well ahead of the expectations of the Government.

This will lead to the development of an effective national OSH system that encompasses making effective OSH laws, systems of inspection, and programmes to ensure safe healthy work environments.

Meanwhile, employees and employers have a responsibility to ensure the creation of safe and healthy working environments and to participate in the implementation of preventive measures.

As the Government scales up the development of OSH legislation, it is important to note that some key regulations that are envisaged to support the new OSH Bill include Major Hazard Installation Regulation, Control of Chemical Agents Hazardous to Health Regulation, Control of Exposure to Lead Regulation, and Control of Exposure to Asbestos Regulation, said Minister Moyo.

This year’s conference ran under the theme: Safe and healthy work environment: A fundamental principle and right at work.

Herald

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

AirZim starts accepting ZiG

National carrier, Air Zimbabwe is now accepting payment in Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), boosting confidence in the new currency. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter) yesterday, Air Zimbabwe said the ZiG payments reflected a commitment to adapting to the evolving financial landscape by offering stakeholders convenient payment methods. “As we integrate Zimbabwe Gold currency into […]

Read More
VP Chiwenga
Business

Take lead in developing value chains: VP Chiwenga

ZIMBABWE will continue to leverage its vast natural resources as part of bold steps towards becoming a producer of high-value goods and services that are competitive on the global market, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said. This demands that the private sector take the lead in developing the value chains that exist across key sectors, […]

Read More
Dr Mushayavanhu
Business

Audits of ZiG money supply once a year: RBZ

ZIMBABWE should use its own currency to achieve higher levels of economic growth while the supply of the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) will always match increases in gold and cash reserves, with audits of money supply expected to be conducted at least once a year, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr John Mushayavanhu, has said.  In […]

Read More