The Workers Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) has bemoaned the increasing number of accidents in the road and construction industries in Zambia saying labour is going to waste as a result of the incidents.
But the Board has come up with a campaign with a target of reaching zero accidents and diseases to protect and preserve labour.
In an interview, board head of communications and customer services Maybin Nkolomba revealed that the road and transport sector was recording the highest number of accidents and diseases.
“The highest sector so far, in terms of accidents and diseases, is the road and transport sector where we are recording quite a lot of incidences. First of all, behaviours on the road and also sometimes even the engineering patterns of these roads, there is the state of equipment and motor vehicles that people are using. So, we have noticed that these are some of the factors that are causing accidents on the roads,” Nkolomba revealed.
“We have also seen that there are incidences increasing in the construction sector and because Zambia is literally a construction site now, there are construction works almost everywhere and the accidents have continued to happen, I think in the recent few weeks there was a wall collapsing on people (Woodlands building collapse).”
But he, however, added that the board had initiated a campaign with a target of reaching zero accidents and diseases to preserve and protect labour.
“We are promoting a concept called Vision Zero to preserve labour from wastage. We have noticed that the labour that is being used for the industrial development of the economy is going to waste at very high levels because of accidents and diseases. Now, to arrest that one, we have brought a campaign called Vision Zero and we are registering companies as partners of Vision Zero to partner with us and the international social security association to eradicate occupational accidents and diseases. The baseline for Zambia is 1,027 as at 2018 and we want to take this campaign to record the target of zero by 2030,” he said.
Nkolomba also bemoaned Zambians’ poor attitude towards issues of disease and safety in work places.
“We have noticed that advanced economies have progressed so well, it is because they are using systems that promote health and safety for all. But here on the African continent, and even in Zambia itself, we haven’t really given attention to issues of health and safety. They are always coming as an afterthought, but you can’t develop in a situation like that because just one accident can frustrate all the efforts,” said Nkolomba.
“So, we have also developed a network within ourselves; we are working in collaboration with the occupation health and safety at labour (office) and the National Council for Construction so that we first of all insist on putting safety measures at a place of construction before the construction goes ahead. What we have noticed is that people are rushing into construction and then issues of health and safety are left as an afterthought. So, we want to work together to reduce these accidents.”