Posted on: November 15, 2007 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

UGANDA. A Safety and Health standards checklist for workplaces has been developed.

The list, which takes immediate effect, was launched last week by the state minister for labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana, at Speke Resort Munyonyo during a two-day stakeholders’ workshop.

It covers constructions, installations, maintenance and operations in the workplace to ensure safety and health standards.

Rukutana commended the ministry’s CHOGM Safety and Health Unit for developing the checklist, which he said would improve working conditions.

“Every Ugandan has a right to a safe, clean and healthy environment,” said Rukutana, adding that the inspection of workplaces should continue after the summit. “It is unfortunate that we have to wait for big occasions like CHOGM to do the right things. Nevertheless, the momentum we have initiated should not stop after the meeting if we are to transform our lives.”

Rukutana added that after the meeting, his team would enforce the newly- enacted labour laws including the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

He urged all stakeholders to implement the provisions on the list. “Under the law, ignorance is no defence. The time for dilly-dallying is up.”

The Act spells out the duties, obligations and responsibilities of employers, employees, the self-employed, manufacturers, suppliers and transporters as well as general safety requirements at the workplaces. The assistant commissioner for safety, Ruba Kalyegira, said the checklist would be a yardstick for evaluating and controlling the physical, chemical, physiological, social and technical factors that affect a person at work and the working environment.

He urged employers and employees to acquaint themselves with the list for self-assessment.

Source: New Vision (Kampala)

Posted to the web 7 November 2007