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SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Peace, justice and strong institutions can only help in putting safety and health in its rightful place and that is at the top of every company and organisations set of priorities.

When people are not protected at their workplace they feel abused and vulnerable; therefore no peace.  Often anger and stress are two strong feelings and unfortunately, are increasing daily throughout the world, but especially in Uganda.  Just look at the number of people with high blood pressure due to stress.  Stress in the right amount is good for us, remember the fight or flight we learned in school, but too much can have cumulative impacts that are not good for our health.

Here we have different acts that inform employers and employees of their roles and responsibilities.  It starts with the Constitution of The Republic of Uganda through the Employment Act, Workers Compensation Act, Public Health Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Children’s Act to name a few.  These legislations inform and guide compliance.

Compliance means just as it sounds to comply to do something, to do what is supposed to be implemented.  It basically means doing the right thing.  Compliance is there to protect and prevent.  It is not there to stifle or stop development, but to do it in the right way.  Actually it is easier to do the right thing than to do the wrong thing in the long-term; it just is.  By doing the wrong thing always backfires on you sooner or later.

Take for instance not employing a Safety and Health Officer, then you have several near misses and do nothing.  Then you have a fatality and you have to pay over 100,000,000 in compensation.  Was that worthwhile, did it help your reputation, respect, and trust from your clients and shareholders.  Saving money in the short-term is never the best policy. Companies have suffered much due to public opinion, just ask Shell and BP.

Strong institutions ensure that what has been decided is implemented. It means they have the right people employed knowing what they have to do and allowing them to do it.  Keeping staff motivated is not all about money and the hygiene factors, although they are important, it is about letting people do their job, having ideas and implementing them, about seeing the bigger picture and not just what they have to do that day.

Employees have to feel part of the company, to feel that they matter that they will be listened to and that their ideas and thoughts matter.  How strong a company is, is dependent on its staff and the relationship between employees and the employer.

Safety, health and environment can make this happen through good communications and their bridging link between Top Management who are entirely responsible for safety and health and the employees who have to implement it.  A good Safety and health Officer/Manager is priceless.

 

 

Can you be instrumental in making this happen, if yes contact EISMAT at

info@eismat.ac.ug/ 0705 336 066.

 

 

 

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