Its estimated that 3.98 world GDP is lost due to work related diseases and occupational accidents.
Employers in Uganda have been asked to improve the safety and health for employees to curb occupational hazards and health related accidents.
ILO Senior Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Labour Administration, Franklin Muchiri says Muchiri said work related accidents and occupation health once not attended to, can bring about economic and social impacts in most of the African countries.
He added that the country needs to focus on recording and noting occupation diseases and accidents to understand the emerging issues to establish mechanisms to solve the problem.
“Occupational safety is one key area of focus for developing countries to address,” Muchiri said.
Its estimated that 3.98 world GDP is lost due to work related diseases and occupational accidents. Statistics indicate 2.78 million people dying annually from work related diseases and accidents.
“There is a need to improve the awareness of the people about occupation health,” Muchiri further said. This is one key area we don’t have capacity as developing countries to provide services, he added.
He says globally, all the regions need to extend occupational health and safety to be part of the curriculum in both primary and tertiary institutions to improve the quality of life at work.
The remarks were made during a workshop recently on knowledge and application of conventions 184,155,187 and related ILO instruments, National Program Officer International Program on Elimination of Child labour, Jaqueline Banya says Uganda has failed to ratify ILO conventions catering for protection of children subjected to child labour in the agricultural sector.
“Anything to do with violation of children rights, it’s a matter of urgency that need to be addressed,” Banya said.
She says out of the 31 ILO conventions Uganda has ratified none of them; this caters for occupational safety and health particularly for children.
Ugandan children totaling to 2million between the age of 5 and 17 who are in the agricultural sector are exposed to hazardous pesticides, extreme heat, long working hours which compromises their health.
Banya argues that article 16 which provides for protection of children in activities that deem hazardous under ILO convention 184 on safety and health in agriculture has not been implemented.
Global statistics show that Africa has the largest number of children in child labour at 80% in agriculture with Uganda having the largest percentage of 70.
“It’s even worse in the sense that a big fraction of children in child labour is in the country’s economic activity,” Banya said.
Under ILO convention 184 on safety and health in agriculture, article 16 which provides for protection of children in activities that deem hazardous under ILO has not been implemented.
David Mugisha Atwoki, the commissioner Occupation safety and Health Department, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development said most of the recommendations and conventions have helped us to come up with the occupational and health act.
“It’s not true that we are lacking them at all. We have been consulting these documents in making some of our laws,” Mugisha explained.