ZCTU remembers Kamandama disaster fatalities

By Own Correspondent

 THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has remembered the June 6 Kamandama Mine disaster which saw 427 workers losing their lives.

The event which took place on June 6 1972 , as a result of a methane gas explosion in Hwange Kamandama mine shaft number 2 remains the worst workplace accident to date in this country hence it serves as a sad reminder on the importance of Occupational Safety and Health.

In a speech read on behalf of the ZCTU President Florence Taruvinga, the labour group said the disaster could have been avoided had the Mine invested in robust Occupational Safety and health Management Systems.

“Hence our theme this year seeks to amplify the importance of OSH management systems and foster the preventive culture. As we commemorate this event today, our clarion call to the government and captains of industry is that we need a holistic approach to eradicate workplace accidents.

“We continue to note disturbing accidents largely owing to employers’ disregard of workplace safety protocols and procedures,” she said.

Taruvinga called for the capacitation of the Inspectorate department in the Ministry of Labour and intensification of workplace inspections by the National Social Security Authority inspectorate department to plug work deficits.

She said   Zimbabwe now needs to ratify ILO convention 187/2006 on the promotional framework for occupational safety and health and there is also urgent need to recognize and adopt the ILO governing body resolutions which seeks to enhance application of international occupational health and safety standards and greater implementation of these rights in national legislation and practice.

“We encourage greater recognition, as well as adherence, for the rights set out in the Conventions, such as the need to consult workers and union representatives, the right to refuse unsafe work, and also unlock increased resources for occupational health and safety; and inclusion of OSH issues in trade agreements and multilateral arrangements,” added Taruvinga.

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