Health and Safety

If you are employed you need to know about Health and Safety FAQs including occupational health and safety, health and safety at work act, health and safety regulations

 

 

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What are the laws in Tanzania relating to the issues of Occupational Safety and Health?

In Tanzania we have pieces of legislation covering the Occupational Health and Safety of an employee and these include the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004. However, a more specific, relevant and direct legislation is the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003.The Act is aimed at protecting workers’ rights in health and safety in the workplace. It also provides for the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with activities of persons at work, and to provide for connected matters.

Who does the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003 cover?

The Act applies to factories and all other work places unless exempted by the Minister in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Does the Act impose any duty on behalf of workers?

Yes. The following are some of the duties of a worker imposed under the law:

  • Workers must take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and any other persons who may be affected by his/her actions or omissions at work.
  • They also have a duty to cooperate with the employer to enable the duty or requirement imposed by the employer to be performed or complied with.
  • They have a duty to carry out any lawful order given to him/her and to obey the health and safety rules and procedures laid down by employer or an authorised person in the interest of health and safety.
  • To report to his/her employer or health and safety representative any unsafe or unhealthy situation coming to their attention.
  • To report to his/her employer or health and safety representative any incident or accident which may cause injury to their health as soon as practicable (not later than the end of a shift unless circumstances prevent so).

What is the general duty of an employer under this law?

The employer has the following duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act:

  • To register his/her factory/workplace/business with the Occupational Health and Safety Authority.
  • To conduct regular medical examinations of his/her employees in accordance with the Act.
  • To choose health and safety representatives in a workplace with four or more workers.
  • Employers must make sure that the workplace is safe and healthy, and must not allow any worker to do work that is potentially dangerous.
  • They must inform workers of any possible dangers in the workplace.
  • They must reduce any dangers to a minimum before issuing protective clothing.
  • They must issue protective clothing where necessary.
  • They must give necessary training to workers who use dangerous machines and materials, to make sure they know the safety precautions.
  • They must prevent workers from using or working with dangerous materials or machines, unless all safety rules have been followed.
  • They must ensure that dangerous machines are in good working order and are safe to work with.
  • They must make sure that dangerous machinery carries warnings and notices.
  • They must make sure that somebody who knows the work is supervising the operations to ensure the safety of workers.
  • They must keep the workplace open so that workers can escape from danger if necessary.

Is there any punishment for non-compliance Act by employer or employee?

Where such a contravention has been occasioned by an employer and as a result an employee is killed or suffers serious body injury the employer may be liable to a fine of not less than 10 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both imprisonment and fine. The Court may in addition to a fine or instead of imposing a fine may also order the cause of contravention to be remedied.

If an employee contravenes the provisions of this law relating to health and safety, they will be liable for penalty or imprisonment or both penalty and imprisonment depending on the offence.

Can an employer punish a worker for complaining about safety conditions?

No. The law prohibits an employer from dismissing an employee, reducing the rate of his/her remuneration, altering the terms and conditions of his/her employment for the following reasons:

  • Giving evidence in court about their conditions at work.
  • Responding to any requests by an inspector.
  • Refusing to do anything that is against the law.
  • Giving information about their conditions at work.
  • Complying with a lawful prohibition, requirement, request or direction of an inspector.
  • Contracting an occupational or any other disease.

Is an employer required to report accidents occurring at the workplace?

The employer is required to report any incident or accident which has occurred at a place of work and has resulted in either death, body injury, lost of conscious, occupational illness or has permanently incapacitated a worker, within twenty four hours from the time the incident has occurred.  Within seven days from the day the incident was reported the employer is required to send a duly completed prescribed form containing information on the incident.

How are the provisions of this Act enforced?

The Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA) was established (under Executive Agencies Act No. 30 of 1997) and is the custodian of Occupational Health and Safety Act No.5 of 2003.

The primary objective of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) is to ensure the creation and maintenance of ideal work environments which are free from occupational hazards that may cause injuries or illness to all employees in work environment. The authority has employed Labour Inspectors whose duty includes the inspection of health and safety in workplaces. After they prepare a report, the same is submitted to the Chief Inspector for relevant action which could be:

  • Advising the employer accordingly.
  • Issuing an improvement notice.
  • Issuing a prohibition notice.
  • Referring the matter to court.

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In Tanzania we have pieces of legislation covering the Occupational Health and Safety of an employee and these include the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004. However, a more specific, relevant and direct legislation is the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003.The Act is aimed at protecting workers’ rights in health and safety in the workplace. It also provides for the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with activities of persons at work, and to provide for connected matters.

Who does the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003 cover?

The Act applies to factories and all other work places unless exempted by the Minister in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Does the Act impose any duty on behalf of workers?

Yes. The following are some of the duties of a worker imposed under the law:

What is the general duty of an employer under this law?

The employer has the following duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act:

Is there any punishment for non-compliance Act by employer or employee?

Where such a contravention has been occasioned by an employer and as a result an employee is killed or suffers serious body injury the employer may be liable to a fine of not less than 10 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both imprisonment and fine. The Court may in addition to a fine or instead of imposing a fine may also order the cause of contravention to be remedied.

If an employee contravenes the provisions of this law relating to health and safety, they will be liable for penalty or imprisonment or both penalty and imprisonment depending on the offence.

Can an employer punish a worker for complaining about safety conditions?

No. The law prohibits an employer from dismissing an employee, reducing the rate of his/her remuneration, altering the terms and conditions of his/her employment for the following reasons:

Is an employer required to report accidents occurring at the workplace?

The employer is required to report any incident or accident which has occurred at a place of work and has resulted in either death, body injury, lost of conscious, occupational illness or has permanently incapacitated a worker, within twenty four hours from the time the incident has occurred.  Within seven days from the day the incident was reported the employer is required to send a duly completed prescribed form containing information on the incident.

How are the provisions of this Act enforced?

The Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA) was established (under Executive Agencies Act No. 30 of 1997) and is the custodian of Occupational Health and Safety Act No.5 of 2003.

The primary objective of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) is to ensure the creation and maintenance of ideal work environments which are free from occupational hazards that may cause injuries or illness to all employees in work environment. The authority has employed Labour Inspectors whose duty includes the inspection of health and safety in workplaces. After they prepare a report, the same is submitted to the Chief Inspector for relevant action which could be:

Read more

Find out more about Contracts of Employment.

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