Workers Health and Productivity

South Africa. The Eastern Cape’s emerging contractors are losing money and valuable work time due to a lack of onsite healthcare management programmes.

Eastern Cape contractors under the umbrella of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) Construction told Dispatch Business that there was growing concern among contractors who lost workers and time, because they were not sensitive to their health status.

OR Tambo’s acting Nafcoc chairperson Thanduxolo Dyasi said contractors were often faced with workers becoming ill and abandoning work at critical times due to Aids and tuberculosis-related illnesses, with contractors often missing obvious signs of sickness.

“Our Health and Safety officers have been instructed to be vigilant, to quickly spot ailing workers and to ensure they get timely medical assistance,” he said.

King William’s Town contractor Maudelaide Hlobo said that because HIV-positive workers did not divulge their status it made it difficult to help them until too late. “But we offer counselling and advice for workers onsite, which has encouraged people to come forward with health issues and we, in turn, make sure they always take medication at the right time.”

The organisation’s provincial president, Welcome Gawu, said that contractors were provided with workshops on health matters, but it was up to them to carry the message forward.

Luzuko Gwazela, a young contractor from Centane , said he had faced no problems because the communities he worked in normally kept unfit people away from construction work.”All we do is make sure that the site is safe and that condoms are always available for them,” he said.

Source: Dispatch Online
Posted: 22 August 2008
By: NTANDO MAKHUBU

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