Posted on: February 17, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Uganda. Employee health and safety is of extreme importance and should be a concern of all involved, but in Uganda, many workers do not seem to understand or care about the advantages of protective gear.

Construction workers go about their business without helmets, gloves, overalls, ear plugs and other protective gear which are deemed an unecessary luxury. Past the luxury aspect, “boda-boda”cyclists go to great lengths to avoid wearing reflective helmets and jackets even though an order was passed declaring it unlawful to do so.

Mechanics also have low regard for protective gear with one not even knowing that he was supposed to wear a reflective jacket while working underneath a car.

The Occupational Safety & Health Act has procedures laid out that the workers, government, manufacturers and transporters should follow to promote safety. The Governement’s responsibility is not only to enact laws promoting safety, but also in the implementation.

According to the law, a company with more than 20 employees should have health and safety commitees reporting on unidentified risks to workers. Also required is a health and safety policy written visibly and accessible to the employees.

Additionally,as a last resort,personal protective gear is required in the quest for safety, as the OHS law mainly advances preventation of unsafe conditions.

Ultimately, the onus is on the employer to ensure a safe working environment as well as equipment that is safe to use. Failure to do so can result in a fine of Shs 2 million or 50 months imprisonment, or possibly both.

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