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It’s useless to have laws that govt is failing to enforce – ZCTU

IT is useless to have laws which government is failing to enforce, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions deputy secretary general Misheck Nyambose has told acting labour minister Vincent Mwale.

 

Nyambose said this during the Safety and Health at Work commemoration in Ndola yesterday.

 

“We are worried that employers are not following the occupational health of workers. Government should not treat occupational health as a burden. It is dangerous for government to ignore its duties of protecting the safety of workers. It is useless to have laws, which the government is failing to enforce,” Nyambose said.

 

He said the government had paid lip service to the health of the workers.

 

The state of labour inspection has seriously degenerated to terrifying levels and we urge government to allocate sufficient resources to this. Government should act and protect the Zambian workers. As unions, we will fight for the lives of our workers. Some employers resort to anti-union tactics but we won’t allow this to happen,

said Nyambose, adding that employers had completely ignored government policies on OHS and the consequence of this had been the terrifying incidents of workplace deaths.

 

 

“It is imperative that government enforces strong laws on occupational health and safety in order to protect workers from potentially deadly risks to their health. The labour movement is concerned that in most cases, government has paid lip service to OSH legislation and allowed employers to ignore their obligations and put the health of workers at risk.”

 

 

And Workers Compensation Control Board chief executive officer Elizabeth Nkumbula said data collection was a critical element in the prevention of accidents.

 

 

She said between April and March this year, 1,027 accidents were recorded in which 66 were fatal and reported in the mining, agriculture and construction sector.

 

“Best practice world over is labour re-integration as this is the best form of social security that injured workers can be given. Employers should register with WCFCB, not only for compensation purposes, but also to accord a learning platform to help prevent future recurrences of accidents and illnesses at work places,”

said Dr Nkumbula.

 

And Mwale said all employers should take the safety of workers seriously.

 

“As government, we will do everything possible to ensure that employers protect the interest of the workers. The lives of workers should not be put on risk,” said Mwale

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