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OSHA: We lack tools to conduct inspections

31st May 2012
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Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) has complained that it lacked funds and tools to effectively undertake inspection of industries.

The Authority’s chief executive officer Dr Akwilina Kayumba told a Parliamentary Committee on Community Development that the authority had insufficient funds and vehicles in the five zones, rendering it unable to carry out its responsibilities.

She was responding after the committee rejected the Authority’s report for 2011/12, saying it lacked authentic and comprehensive statistics.

Dr Kayumba said: “We have four vehicles only which were obtained last week. They operate in Northern, Southern Highland and Coastal zones. Hence the Lake and Western zones have no means of transport,” she said.

She noted that there was insufficient working equipment such as spiral meters, saying there currently were only two which are used in measuring the magnitude of noise.

The other challenge is lack of trained and skilled human resource, saying most able employees had resigned to seek greener pastures due to low salaries offered by OSHA.

Earlier the committee acting chairman, Said Mtanda, told the OSHA management: “The report is not comprehensive. OSHA management should work on it again before presenting it to the committee. We can’t receive a two-page report that shows a year's implementation and another on the following year's expectations.”

He said the report was supposed to indicate a number of issues that need to be analysed, including the number of inspections previously undertaken with their locations and those expected to be undertaken.

Deputy minister for Labour and Employment, who is also a member of the committee, Dr Makongoro Mahanga, addressed complaints by OSHA employees, saying there was a dispute between the management and staff.

Dr Mahanga noted that the employer does not provide working equipment such as gloves, masks, boots and other safety gear for workers.

Elaborating on inspections he said: “OSHA has no capability to inspect all the industries in the country, therefore inspections are often done following a tipp-off by the media, for instance the recent Jambo Plastic saga.”

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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