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Statement on Occupational Safety

Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development

Press Statement

On the
Compliance withthe Occupational Safety and Health Act, No. 9 of 2006

Specifically

“Plant Examination and Workplace Registration in line with The Occupational Safety and Health (Plant Examination and Workplace Registration Fees) Regulation, 2014”

And
“Approval of Architectural Plans/Drawings of New Workplaces and Alteration of Existing Ones”

November 2014

COMPLIANCE WITH OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT No.9, 2006 AT ALL WORKPLACES

1.0    As you may be aware, the Ministry Of Gender, Labour and Social Development has a mandate under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, No. 9 of 2006 to ensure that all public and private workplaces/enterprises/companies/organizations adhere to safety and health measures. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2006, Section 40 mandates the Commissioner for Occupational Safety and Health to keep a register of all work places in the country and pursuant to this, Section 41 requires that a fee be paid before a workplace is registered. Section 69-82 requires a fee to be paid for examination and certification of statutory plants and equipment like steam boilers, air receivers, gas receivers, mobile cranes, tower cranes, overhead cranes, lifting chains, shackles and lifts among others, by an authorized person.

2.0    TheMinistry recognises all those key stakeholder, organisations in Uganda’s economy who have continually provided Ugandans with significant employment opportunities thereby contributing to national revenue in addition to poverty alleviation. The Ministry therefore wishes to foster better working relations with you, by offering you efficient and effective service that you deserve.

3.0    In order to manage the challenges and risks associated with the work environment arising out of the various workplace and work-related hazards and manifested by numerous near misses/ incidents, accident occurrences and occupational diseases the Ministry through the Department of Occupational safety and health is determined to improve on its delivery of Occupational Health and Safety Services. Through assisting employers to main stream Occupational Health and Safety into all their corporate goals, operations and work activities, we believe there shall be more sustainable economic growth at the individual, organisational and national levels.

4.0    Over the recent past, there have been rampant occupational accidents at construction sites where; excavations have caved in, roof tops of structures collapsed, fire outbreak among others. Even when the buildings have been approved by local authorities, various safety and health measures that ought to be incorporated during the design of the drawings are completely ignored rendering the buildings to be hazardous.

5.0Many commercial and public buildings lack sound occupational safety and
health systems for instance some buildings are inaccessible by Persons with
Disability (PWDs), staircases/corridors are below minimum standard
requirements, inadequate fire safety systems, inadequate sanitary amenities for
occupiers and users etc. It should be noted that with the recent threats of
terrorism, plans/drawings must incorporate issues of occupational safety, health
and security.It should be noted that the approval of architectural drawings by
local authorities without considering section 42 of the Occupational Safety and
Health Act, No. 9 of 2006 renders all the process null and void. The Local
Authorities ought to approve the drawings after obtaining input from the
Department of Occupational Safety and Health.All public and private
workplaces (companies/organizations/enterprises) must comply with aforesaid
provisions

6.0    In order to sustainably achieve the objective of continued minimisation of work-related incidences, illnesses, injuries and accidents,there is need for collective effort of everyone involved, hence making safety everybody’s business. Safer workplaces and a healthier work force shall therefore guarantee higher productivity, better products / service delivery and improved competitiveness.

7.0    The purpose of this statement is to inform all stakeholders the basic provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act No. 9, 2006 among which are registration of workplaces, institution of safety and health measures at the workplace, statutory equipment inspection and certification, and effective information keeping and sharing. The Accounting officer of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Developmentis required to ensure that Non Tax Revenue (NTR) is collected from workplace registration and statutory equipment inspection. This cannot be effectively done without sensitising all stakeholders about this requirement of paying the stated fees.

8.0    The Statutory Instrument No.87 on Occupational Safety and Health (Plant Examination and Workplace Registration Fees) Regulation, 2014 spells out the amount of fees to be paid by individual workplaces depending on the nature of work, level of risk they pose or the number of workers they are employing. Similarly, the same regulation spells out the amount of fees to be paid by oganizations/proprietors in possession of plants and equipment earlier mentioned above.
9.0    All stakeholders are therefore are required to comply by 31st December 2014 to avoid any inconvenience associated with the closure of their business as a result of Non Compliance. Technical officers within the Occupational safety and health department are at your disposal for any advice and compliancy requirements.

Pius Bigirimana
PERMANENT SECRETARY
   Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
Simbamanyo House, Plot 1 Lumumba Avenue
P.O. Box 7136
   KAMPALA
Tel: 0414347854
Email: ps@mglsd.go.ug
http//www.mglsd.go.ug