Occupational Safety and Health “Training of Trainer Programme” for the Sawmilling sector in Zambia
According to the 2012 Zambia Country Profile on Occupational Safety and Health, the building and construction industry reported 58 occupational fatalities between 2003 and 2007.
The high number of fatalities, which was ranked third behind the mining and quarrying sector and chemical industry, is attributed to, among other things, working conditions in the sector.
In this regards, the Green Jobs Programme recently carried out two training of trainer workshops for stakeholders in the sawmilling sector, focussing on owners of sawmills, and saw mills supervisors, to adequately address OSH concerns and priorities at the different levels of sawmills. The workshops were attended by members of the Copperbelt Sawmillers and Timber Growers Association (COSTIGA) and the Zambia National Association of Sawmillers (ZNAS). Amongst the facilitators were delegations from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Workers' Compensation Fund.
In total, over 40 employers and workers of the sawmilling sector were trained as trainers in topics such as:
- Cost of poor working conditions;
- risk assessment and management which included practical field visits;
- importance of workers' compensation fund scheme; and
- duties of employers and workers under the existing national OSH legislation.
Outcomes of the ToT workshop indicated a high need for the development of a sector driven OSH policy and checklist, that can be adapted and modified easily at enterprise level in order to further increase awareness and compliance with OSH guidelines and regulations. The ZGJP took note of this demand, and will provide technical assistance in this regard.
Furthermore, as an unintended result, the training of trainers workshops, also led to increased awareness amongst owners of sawmills regarding the accessibility of social protection and OSH services for their workers. Immediately after the training of the owners of sawmills, over 20 of them registered there sawmills with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Services to enable them access information and OSH inspection services. Other saw millers whose registration with Workers Compensation Fund Control Board was dormant sought audience with the Commissioner of the fund in order to regularise and reactivate their registration.
The first enterprise level trainings on OSH are scheduled to take off in November 2014, with a first series of pilot trainings targeting over 100 workers.
For More information
One UN Zambia Green Jobs Programme