Health and Safety

Employer Cares

The Factories Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act deal with the occupational health and safety in Zambia. The Factories Act requires the employer to provide clean working environment, adequate ventilation, first aid, lighting, sanitary facilities and fire extinguisher. The Factories Act also requires the employer to prevent overcrowding in the workplace. Factories Act contains provisions on Health, Safety and Welfare.

 

In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it is a duty of the employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the employees at the workplace; and place and maintain an employee in an occupational environment adapted to the employee's physical, physiological and psychological ability. The employer must provide the work environment that is safe and without any risk to the health and safety of the employees at their workplace.

 

The Employer must also take preventive measures including adequate first-aid arrangements to deal with emergencies and accidents; provide and maintain adequate supply of drinking water; and separate eating & resting areas free from poisonous or injurious substances.

 

An employer, on recommendations of the Director, is required to prepare a health and safety policy concerning the protection of the health and safety of the employees, including a description of the organisation and arrangements for carrying out reviews to that policy. The employer has to provide plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without any risks to human health and maintain them in that condition. The employer may also consult a health and safety representative for guidance and support.

 

A worker must also take reasonable care for his/her own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by his/her acts or omissions at the workplace.

 

Source: §16, 17 & 32 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act No. 36 of 2010; §19-75 of the Factories Act No. 2 of 1966, CAP. 441

Free Protection

If workers are exposed to any poisonous, injurious or offensive substances, suitable protective clothing and appliances (including goggles, screens) will be provided and maintained by the employer for the workers' use.

 

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer is responsible to provide all appropriate protective clothing or equipment to be used in the workplace by employees, who in the course of employment, are likely to be exposed to the risk of bodily injuries, and adequate instructions in the use of such protective clothing or equipment. All the protective equipments are provided free of cost.

Every worker should be provided with personal protective equipments and protective clothing that must be used at all the times during working hours.

 

Source: §16(2)(i) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act No. 36 of 2010; §71 of the Factories Act No. 2 of 1966, CAP. 441; Regulation 11 of the Factories (Benzene) Regulations (S. I. 179 of 1978), as amended up to S. I. No. 158 of 1993

Training

Employers are obliged to ensure that workers have been provided such information, instructions, training and supervision, especially on a machine or process likely to cause bodily injury, to protect the health and safety of employees at workplace.

 

Source: §16(2)(c) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act No. 36 of 2010; §35 of the Factories Act No. 2 of 1966, CAP. 441

Labour Inspection System

The Factories Act and the Occupational Health & Safety Act provides for a labour inspection system, however, due to resource constraints, it is not in line with the requirements of ILO Convention 081. The Occupational Health and Safety Act provides the enforcement powers of the inspectors including entering, inspecting, and examining any workplace.

The inspector has the power to enter, inspect and search the workplace; take samples; examine any document or article; require the production of any record, report or document; and interview anyone. 

The labour inspector is authorised to send a written notice to the employer of the factory requiring such building, part of the building, machine, plant, matter, thing or practice to be vacated, repaired, removed, remedied or stopped, as the case may be, either forthwith or within such time as may be specified in such notice; and may issue an order of closure of the workplace, in case of non-compliance to the act that is likely to cause death or bodily harm to an employee or any person in the factory's premises, Penalties for non-compliance include fine ranging from one hundred thousand penalty units to seven hundred thousand penalty units or an imprisonment for one to seven years. A court is also authorised to order remedy for the cause of contravention.

 

Source: §25-29 (Part-V) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act No. 36 of 2010; §103 of the Factories Act No. 2 of 1966, CAP. 441

Regulations on Health and Safety

  • Factories Act, 1966
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