By William Madouk Garang
The Council of Ministries has approved occupational safety and health policy meant to prevent hazardous fatalities, and provide conducive environment for employees at workplaces in both public and private sectors.
Addressing the media after the first Cabinet meeting in 2023, chaired by President Salva Kiir, Minister of Information and government’s spokesman, Michael Makuei said the policy presented by Minister of Labour, James Hoth Mai was unanimously accepted by the house on Friday 6th January 2023.
“We listened to the Minister of Labour, James Hoth Mai on occupational safety and health policy. After thorough deliberation, it was adopted by the Cabinet and passed to the next level – that is the Transitional National Legislative Assembly for consideration” Makuei said.
“This document is very important because it makes the provisions for the health and for the creation of healthy environment for those who are working whether in private or public sector” he added.
This is the first workplace policy in the country, after being passed by the Cabinet it will now be tabled before the National Parliament for final approval.
Minister Makuei further explained that the policy ensures that employees will have favourable and healthy atmosphere to conduct their work.
“Health environment is like when you are working in your working place – it must be a conducive and healthy atmosphere for you to work that is, the area should be clean, should not be polluted” said Makuei.
“Also, there are other diseases which are contracted in the course of employment in some ministries and institutions, all these are provided for in the safety for the place of work” he further explained.
Mr. Makuei stated that every institution will ought to offer healthy environment and also takes responsibility of its employees if at an incident befall them while on duty.
“That is also in terms of health of safety in case of any accident that happened to the employee in the course of his duty then it’s also the duty of that institution to take care of that employee and so forth” he hinted.
Workplaces are prone to health risks such as work-related injuries, or diseases are obvious in any workplace. Increased death toll on job incidents are mainly attributed to poor or lack of the policy.
Globally, reports indicate that around 6,300 workers succumb to work-related injuries or disease daily which is an average of 2.3 million fatalities annually.
On a separate note, minister Makuei also said the Minster of Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia also briefed the ministers on acceleration of roadmap and urged the ministries to start implementing duties required from them.