Kadoma — Government in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has begun a process of crafting an Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill which will bring Zimbabwe’s laws in line with key international labour standards.
Report by Blessed Mhlanga
The OSH Bill will seek to harmonise current laws which deal with Safety and Health at the work place into one Act compliant with international conventions adopted by the United Nations member states.
Speaking at a workshop to roll out the OSH Bill, Ministry of Labour Permanent Secretary Lancaster Museka, said the principles which will guide the drafting of the Bill were approved by cabinet after a long time of deliberations.
“It has taken us a very long time to be where we are today. The issue of coming up with new and comprehensive OSH legislation has been under discussion since the early nineties,” Museka said.
The principles adopted by government include a single legislative Act, domestication of ratified ILO conventions, and comprehensive coverage of all sectors of the economy.
Museka said the provisions of current laws were failing to address OSH issues affecting the workers.
“The provisions of these instruments do not adequately cover all OSH elements as well as relevant government undertakings,” he said.
“Such inadequacies have pro-mpted the need to develop and come up with new legislative framework particularly in light of the instruments recently adopted by the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) and in some cases ratified international instruments.”
NSSA Acting Director of Occupational Safety and Health, John Mutswatiwa supported the move saying the current laws which include The Factories and Works of 1948 were clearly outdated and no longer relevant to the management of safety and health at the workplace.
ILO Country Director Alphonse Tabi — abodo, affirmed ILO’s commitment to assist the Zimbabwean government in harmonising its labour laws with international conventions.