Occupational accidents are unplanned events that cause damage-WHO

18Apr 2019
The Guardian Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
Occupational accidents are unplanned events that cause damage-WHO

Tanzania has a number of laws and regulations that govern occupational safety and health (OSH) protections for workers. The International Labour Organisation reports that due to insufficient statistics and consistent reporting, it is impossible to determine the number of workplace accidents that-

 occur in the country.

The first law in Tanzania that related to workers health and safety was the Factories Ordinances Cap. 297 of 1950, that provided for occupational health and safety standards for workers in factories. As most of Tanzania's workforce was employed in the agricultural sector, this ordinance left most workers in the country unprotected.  This law was replaced in 2003 with the new Occupational Health and Safety Act No. 5 of 2003, which covers workers in all sectors, including within the public sector and in local government authorities.

 

Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health,  or workplace health and safety (WHS), is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work.

The goals of occupational safety and health programmess include to foster a safe and healthy work environment. OSH may also protect co-workers, family members, employers, customers, and many others who might be affected by the workplace environment.

In common-law jurisdictions, employers have a common law duty to take reasonable care of the safety of their employees.  Statute law may in addition impose other general duties, introduce specific duties, and create government bodies with powers to regulate workplace safety issues: details of this vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

 

Safety management system (SMS) is a comprehensive management system designed to manage safety elements in the workplace. It includes policy, objectives, plans, procedures, organisation, responsibilities and other measures.  The SMS is used in industries that manage significant safety risks, including aviation, petroleum, chemical, electricity generation and others.

 In the same vein, Zanzibar Telecommunications Company Limited (ZANTEL) has received  two International Standard ISO certificates following compliance with international criteria to Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems OHS (ISO 45001:2018) and latest international standard on the Environmental Management Systems, EMS (ISO 14001:25).

This is another achievement after an equivalent certification by the end of last year, 2018, whereby the telecom company achieved the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems OHSAS 18001:2007 after passing the same intensive audit.

Through this audit, a proven good performance on OHS Management systems implementation was observed and the auditor confidently recommended ZANTEL to implement the transition action plan as part of transition from OHSAS 18001:2007 and acquire the latest health and safety international standard on OHS.

Commenting on certification, Chief of Technology and Information Officer for ZANTEL, John Sicilima said, “We are delighted to pass the audit and receive International accreditation. This proves how serious we are in terms of health and safety matters for staff, stakeholders and the environment we operate in, as our aim is to always operate in the most responsible manner and safeguard the community around our operations and always improve our brand and corporate credibility”

He said being ISO certified,Zantel will assure commitment to managing health and safety risks, environmental impacts, demonstrable best safety practices, sound environmental management systems to identify and control these risks and impacts.

“Living by the guidelines of these certificates will enhance Zantel image, help to maintain our good public image, and improve community relations and market share with the interested parties,” added Sicilima.

ISO 45001 is an international standard that specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, which is intended to improve the safety and health of both employees and other personnel.

Introduced in March 2018, ISO 45001 marks a significant step forward in the overall effort to improve occupational health and safety (OHS) worldwide. Published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the standard enables organizations to proactively improve injury prevention and reduce ill-health, while protecting their longevity.

ISO 45001 supersedes previous occupational health and safety standards, including OHSAS 18001. Organizations that currently hold OHSAS 18001 certification will need to transition to the ISO 45001 standard by March 2021.