An Evaluation of the Law that regulates Occupational Health and Safety in Zambia
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It is essential that there are adequate laws and the efficient enforcement of those laws to ensure that work places are safe and not posing a risk to the health of the workforce. The object of the research therefore, is to evaluate the law regulating occupational health and safety and its enforcement and in addition, considers areas in which it can be improved based on the International Labour Organization (ILO) standards. This is achieved by the use of primary and secondary sources.The research establishes that there is a high prevalence of occupational accidents and diseases in Zambia, particularly in the agricultural, mining, construction, health and transport sectors. This is due to lack of education and information pertaining to health and safety, lack of quality clothing ,silent suffering of employees for the fear of losing their jobs, the increase of investors from countries where labour laws are not respected and inadequate legislation and enforcement of occupational health and safety laws.In addition, specific legislation that substantially aids in regulating occupational health and safety in Zambia is considered, that is, the objects, the adequacy and enforcement. The research establishes that occupational health and safety legislation exists; however, this legislation is highly fragmented. In addition, enforcement is mostly centralised. Further, the ILO standards pertaining to health and safety have been considered. In view of these standards Zambia's ratification and domestication record has been considered. It has established that several relevant Conventions have not been ratified and domesticated. In view of the findings of the research the following recommendations are made; that a national policy should be put in place to guide efforts towards health and safety in Zambia, thus making health and safety a priority in Zambia; the ILO Conventions concerning the sectors most affected by the high prevalence of occupational accidents and diseases should be ratified and domesticated; a legal duty should be imposed on the employer to ensure that their employees are adequately educated on the health and safety risks associated to their work; a legal duty should be imposed to ensvire that protective clothing meets the requisite standards; investors should be informed of the health and safety laws in Zambia and subjected to stiff penalties if they fail to adhere to them; there is a need to harmonise the laws on occupational health and safety and decentralise the enforcement of these laws and more ILO Conventions pertaining to health and safety should be ratified and domesticated as this would aid in the improvement of standards in Zambia.
- Law