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SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Decent work is all about Safety, Health and Environment [SHE].  SHE is the backbone for any company, organisation either public or private and needs to be implemented.  One of the major challenges is the absence of an Occupational Safety and Health Policy.  The Occupational Safety and Health Act has been in existence since 2006, but the very much needed policy still remains in draft.  This delay does not help employers or employees to inculcate SHE into their everyday working practices.

The majority of companies and organistaions do not have any safety systems in place, Have no Safety and Health Officers to manage the health and safety and top managers do not realise it is their responsibility.

Uganda is a member of the ILO [International Labour Organisation] and has a designated department based at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.  Unfortunately, it has not been given the attention it deserves.

Economic growth cannot happen when companies have no safety, health or environment.  Companies end up with delays in work schedules, accidents, incidents and fatalities at the workplace.  Absenteeism, early retirement, substance abuse, stress and anxious workers all makes production targets unattainable. Litigation costs and compensation costs are increasing.  Where families know this, companies are affected, where families do not know their rights then companies pay pittance to avoid investigations.  Rules and regulations are ignored.

Workers under stress make more mistakes; take more days off and product standards are compromised.  This is not good for the company nor the workers and especially not good for the country.

Decent work can lead to economic growth if and when we value our workers and stop exploiting them.  We stop asking them to do more than what they are paid for and we protect them from diseases, accidents, incidents and exposure to bad practices.

The Act is there, the policy is coming – hopefully and with people interested in safety, health and environment we can make a difference and make Uganda ‘A Safer Nation’.

 

To achieve this Uganda needs Safety, Health and Environment. Can you be instrumental in making this happen, if yes contact EISMAT at

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

 

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