The Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSHS), the ministry of Labour arm tasked with ensuring occupational safety and health of workers, is urging industrial employers to establish a fund that will help them ease the burden of high workman compensation claims.
Dr. Musa Nyandusi, the Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health, while speaking during a tour of Bamburi Cement’s Nairobi Grinding Plant in Athi River said in the last financial year alone, the directorate has received workers claims cases amounting to over Sh1.2 billion, a number that has been rising and which he believes is still significantly underreported.
“A fund that is administered correctly will shield employers in the unfortunate events of accidents. Workers in industries move from one factory to another which exposes them to a range of occupational diseases. Industrial unity is called upon from the employers’ side,” said Dr. Nyandusi added that they have been in talks with the private sector, employer bodies and trade unions to advance this plan.
The call comes up as it is ramping up safety inspections, examinations, approvals, training and investigations with the goal of reaching minimum levels of work related injuries and occupational diseases. The head of DOSHS commended Bamburi Cement as being a positive outlier in matters of health and safety in the manufacturing industry.
“We take every precaution to protect them from all forms of harm as we are committed to the safety of our people and visitors to our sites through well-structured guidelines and tools to ensure this,” said Bamburi Cement CEO, Seddiq Hassani during the event to mark the close of the company’s Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Days campaign, where employees undertake activities to refresh and ramp up the company’s HSE culture.
During the month-long campaign Bamburi also engages the community on activities to enhance health, safety and environment, including road safety training for boda boda riders and school children, environmental clean-up and tree planting activities. “Health and Safety is Bamburi Cement’s number one priority and every employee is given a responsibility to ensure work is carried out safely,” said Mr. Hassani. He thanked employees for the many innovations they had come up with during the campaign to eliminate hazards.
During the month, the company ran a ‘Find it, Fix it’ campaign where internal staff were challenged to find any safety gaps and propose solutions as a way to create proactive involvement in finding safety solutions.