Isles OSH department for major overhaul

STATE Minister, (Labour, Economy and Investment), Mr Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga has pledged to overhaul the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) department in order to increase efficiency.

The minister made the pledge on Friday during a meeting with journalists as part of the commemoration of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work which is marked on every April 28.

He said the improvement of the OSH department would include equipping it with modern working tools to meet the required standards of operations such as labour inspections.

“It is a fact that our OSH has been operating below standards. The government has decided to allocate some funds in the next budget for major improvement. Its officers have also travelled to the Mainland to learn how they can improve efficiency,” said the minister.

He said that improvement of the OSH department will help enforce the Occupational Safety and Health Act No.8 of 2005, and the National Occupational Safety.

The Health Policy of Zanzibar requires the development of strong systems for managing occupational safety and health in all workplaces and the health system in general.

He said the plan to transform OSH department, will also include strengthening of the legislative framework on the basis of the decent work principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

“This will be followed by improvement of occupational safety and health at the workplace and the wellness of the working population. We want both public and private employers to improve the working conditions of the entire workforce, in all workplaces,” he said.

The acting Director for OSH department, Mr Ame Faki Saleh, said “We normally conduct labour inspections to push for a better working environment to prevent or minimise occupational hazards. We recorded nine cases of accidents in 2022. The cases are evaluated and victims compensated/given comforting payment as per regulations requirement.”

The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work is marked on every 28th April with the aim of promoting the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases at work places globally. In a statement to mark the day, the ILO Director-General, Gilbert Houngbo, outlined the critical importance of safe and healthy working environments.

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