Mission: To provide social security and promote occupational safety and health for all members through responsive schemes and services. Vision: To be a world class provider of social security
 
Tuesday, 31st May 2016
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National Pension Scheme 

sample image The Scheme was established, and is administered, in terms statutory Instrument 393 of 1993. Read more

Workers Compensation Scheme 

sample image The Scheme was established, and is administered, in terms statutory Instrument 68 of 1990.Read more

Workplace tasks should be made safe before being undertaken

 

Workplace tasks should be made safe before being undertaken

The new Occupational Safety and Health Policy is anchored on a number of principles, the first of which is that the highest priority at every workplace should be to make every job or task safe before undertaking it.
This is a way of managing occupational safety and health upfront. If the safety of a job or task is considered right at the outset, this provides the best safeguard against the possibility of accidents.
It requires a culture of safety awareness on the part of those undertaking the task and those supervising it, as well as those responsible for installing equipment and making it safe.
The second principle is that occupational safety and health should be managed through a systems approach in order to create a culture of preventing accidents, injuries, diseases and fatalities within the workplace.
The policy lists 18 principles on which it is anchored. One of the key principles is that every employer should train or sponsor the training to a minimum of certificate level in occupational safety and health of every supervisor and manager or any person earmarked to become a manager.
This is to instil competence in occupational safety and health management at supervisory and managerial level. It is an important principle because many accidents are caused by illegal or inappropriate instructions and orders from supervisors and management.
The certificate in occupational safety and health should be one recognised by the director of occupational safety and health at NSSA.
Occupational safety and health legislation must cover workers and employers in all sectors of the economy, the policy states. The core rights and duties of employers and workers in advancing occupational safety and health should be spelt out in legislation.
Every worker should have a right to occupational safety and health awareness education and to participate in the identification and evaluation of safety and health risks that affect or are likely to affect him or her in the workplace.
All lost time injuries preventing or likely to prevent a worker from attending duty for three or more shifts, all fatalities, whether immediate or delayed, and all injuries to persons not employed at the workplace, such as clients and members of the public,  should be reported to the inspector of workplaces as soon as possible and certainly within 24 hours, using the fastest means of communication.
All calculations of lost time injury frequency rates for the purpose of understanding occupational safety and health performance and/or comparing performance within or outside the organisation should be based on one million hours exposure time.
All injury rates should be based on a 24-hour day (three shifts of eight hours) to provide uniformity on how occupational safety and health is rated in Zimbabwe and consistency with accident reporting criteria.
All employers should maintain a current accident register in which accurate lost time for every reportable injury, illness or fatality is entered. The register should be made available to the inspector of workplaces on demand.
 The policy proposes, as one of the 18 principles, that the curricula for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities should include lessons on occupational safety and health, since most students will one day be a worker, manager or business person. Research in the field of occupational safety and health is encouraged.
Other principles include the registration with the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fund at NSSA by every employer of his or her workers, whether they are seasonal, permanent or contract workers. This is to cover workers in the event of failure of occupational safety and health protection measures, resulting in illness or death. This principal applies to all employers, including the self-employed.
The cost of providing all appropriate safety and health protection, including personal protective equipment or clothing should be borne by the employer.
Every employer of 50 or more workers should employ a safety and health professional or professionals, with the number of such professionals depending on the complexity of operations.
Every employer of 700 or more workers should in addition employ a resident occupational health medical practitioner certified to practise occupational health medicine.
At every workplace there should be an emergency preparedness and response plan and procedure. This should include the reverse parking of all vehicles at the premises.
Every employer must permit occupational safety and health inspectors from NSSA or any other authorised authority to carry out inspection or do anything else permitted by law at any time of the day or night.
All consultants in occupational safety and health wishing to perform work in Zimbabwe should first be approved by the director of occupational  safety and health at NSSA, who should draw up a list of the approved consultants from which employers wishing to hire them can choose.
Every acquisition of new technology or hazardous chemicals, equipment or machinery which has a significant impact on business, the workers and the workplace should be preceded by a detailed hazard and operability study at the feasibility study phase of the acquisition.
The final principle on which the occupational safety and health policy is anchored is that the policy should be reviewed every five years and that every employer must have a copy communicated to his or her management and workers.
The policy is available from Printflow and the Occupational Safety and Health library at NSSA. It is reviewable five years from the date on which the Minister signed it into operation, i.e. in 2019.


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