24% reduction in workplace fatalities for 2022 – Min Hamilton

Labour Minister
Joseph Hamilton

A 24 per cent reduction in fatal workplace accidents has been recorded for 2022, with 19 persons losing their lives while on the job.
Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton on Thursday provided an annual report on the work of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department , and shared that a planned work programme was implemented in keeping with the objective of improving working conditions.
In 2020, 32 persons died in workplace accidents, with that number falling to 27 in 2021. In total, 184 workplace accidents were investigated this year, inclusive of the 19 fatal events.
“To date, there has been a 24 per cent decline in the number of fatal accidents when compared to the corresponding period last year. The fatalities occurred in the mining, construction, agriculture, manufacturing and forestry sectors.”
He added, “It is our position that when workers leave their homes to go to work, there is the expectation of their families that they will return home safely at the end of the work day or work period. This is not always the situation, as can be verified by the number of workplace accidents.”
While efforts have been made to address workplace accidents, the Labour Minister pointed out that more needed to be done.
Some 1298 inspections were carried out across the 10 administrative regions throughout the year in both the private and public sectors – an 85 per cent achievement of the inspection target. Meanwhile, 21 complaints in relation to workplace incidents were received and investigated.
Hamilton opined, “While there are breaches in the Occupational Safety and Health Act, in most instances, employers responded positively to the recommendations which were made.”
A total of 508 industrial establishments were registered for 2022, of which 135 were renewed applicants.
In terms of achievements, a system for the recording and notification of occupational accidents and diseases was developed, and funded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to the tune of US$50,000. It is in the process of being implemented.
“This system will provide for an accurate statistical analysis of workplace accidents. It will also guide the development and implementation of reduction strategies in relation to workplace accidents.”
Additionally, the OSH Department and the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health have developed a communication strategy along with an advertising mechanism. This will translate to the launch of a PR campaign to sensitise and create awareness on the importance of health and safety in the workplace.
The National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health is a statutory body established to advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Minister of Labour on matters relating to the administration of the OSH Act Chapter 99:06.
Throughout the year, the Ministry has facilitated seminars and training sessions on various areas related to OSH in its attempt to foster safer working environments in the country.