Health

Namibia commemorates World Day for Workplace Safety and Health

Summary

Worldwide every year, approximately 2.9 million workers die as a result of workplace accidents and diseases, and at least 402 million people suffer from non-fatal workplace injuries.This was revealed by Hafeni Ndemula, Deputy Minister of Labour, Indust…

Worldwide every year, approximately 2.9 million workers die as a result of workplace accidents and diseases, and at least 402 million people suffer from non-fatal workplace injuries.

This was revealed by Hafeni Ndemula, Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, on Friday here during the commemoration of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, under the theme ‘Act together to build a positive safety and health culture’.

Ndemula stated that this estimate by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) not only causes human suffering for victims and their families, but also entails major economic losses for enterprises and economies as a whole, which can be measured in terms of healthcare costs, compensation costs, production losses, reduced work capacity, and lower workforce participation.

He said because it is such a large figure, ILO in 2006 adopted its Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, in which the approach to creating a preventative safety and health culture is well defined - rights, responsibilities and duties are defined within a preventative safety and health culture, and both parties work toward a common goal of ensuring workplace safety.

“Namibia in its National Occupational Safety and Health Policy adopted a strategy to develop an occupational safety and health preventative culture framework in order to reduce accidents and injuries arising from or occurring in the course of work. Thus I urge all employers in Namibia to adopt a safety and health culture in which both parties value the right to a safe and healthy working environment and actively contribute to its success,” Ndemula said.

He went on to say that this year’s theme reminds Namibians of the importance of social dialogue at work, particularly in the promotion of occupational safety and health, and that during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and workers collaborated to improve the effective implementation of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) measures, which saved people’s lives in Namibia.

“Allow me to remind the Namibian people that workplace safety and health are a shared responsibility. In isolation, our goal of ensuring a safe and secure workplace remains a well-intended but futile gesture. To improve a safe and healthy work environment, it takes strong authentic collaboration among all parties involved, including the government, the employer, and the worker,” he highlighted.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency