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NSSA Says It Will Invest In Occupational Accident Prevention Programmes

11 months ago
Sun, 16 Oct 2022 18:12:51 GMT
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NSSA Says It Will Invest In Occupational Accident Prevention Programmes

The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) says it will inject more funds into the division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) to combat accidents and injuries at the workplace.

NSSA acting general manager, Charles Shava, told Business Weekly that occupational deaths and injuries were high in 2020 despite the industrial inactivity that existed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shava said:

We actually intend to do more under this scheme, because this scheme has got funds allocated to make sure that we prevent accidents and we want to make sure that we channel funds to the division of OSH for the scheme to do what it was established for, which is to prevent accidents and diseases in workplaces.

In 2020, we had about 42 deaths and over 5 200 injuries, which was at the peak of COVID-19 although there weren’t many industrial activities.

We expected that deaths and injuries will fall but actually they went up for some reason and we think it is because there was little enforcement from us (NSSA) as a regulatory authority. So, people were free to do whatever they wanted.

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Shava said in 2021, 48 deaths were recorded due to accidents at the workplaces while 4 257 injuries were recorded. He added:

Again those statistics are very high figures when you consider that we are only talking of people who are in the formal sector.

I think we have about 52 deaths up to the end of August and the year is not even over while injuries are over 4 700 already, so our statistics are certainly not pleasing and we believe we should actually do more.

Shava said the number of injuries, deaths and diseases at workplaces reported to NSSA was apparently lower than the actual cases.

He said the low reporting rate is attributable to “unfounded fear” that they will be prosecuted.

Shava noted that some employers were ignorant of the fact that they have to report the accidents at the workplace to NSSA.

He said a high number of accidents at workplaces was due to negligence by employers who do not take seriously conditions of service for workers.

According to NSSA, between 2009 and 2018, Zimbabwe lost about US$439 million due to occupational injuries translating to US$44 million per year.



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