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Health and Safety

Employer Cares

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) provide for the health, safety and welfare of persons employed, and all persons lawfully present at workplaces and related matters.

It is obligatory for an occupier to provide and maintain plant and systems and procedures of work that are safe and without risk to workers' health. Employer must ensure safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances. Provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision of workers as is necessary is very crucial maintain safe and healthy workplace.

Workplace and work environment that is safe, without health risks and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for the worker's welfare at work should be maintained. Workers should be well informed of any risks and imminent danger related to new technologies and they should participate in the application and review of safety and health measures.

Occupier must also ensure proper cleanliness, ventilation, lighting, drainage of floor, sanitary convenience, avoid overcrowding and control air pollution, noise and vibration at the workplace. Every occupier is required to establish a safety and health committee at the workplace in accordance with regulations prescribed under the law.

Preventive and protective measures should be taken after proper risk assessment (at least once a year) to ensure that all chemicals, machinery, equipment, tools and process are safe and without risk to health and comply with the requirements of safety and health provisions in this Act. An occupier who fails to comply with a duty imposed on him commits an offence and he/she is liable to a fine not exceeding 500,000 shillings or to imprisonment up to six months or to both.

Source: §6 & 47-95 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007

Free Protection

In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007, it is the responsibility of employer to provide free protective equipment including clothing and appliances, and where necessary, suitable gloves, footwear, goggles and head coverings to the workers involved in hazardous work. The type of PPE needed varies depending on the nature of work being performed.  The right use of PPE reduces risk of accident and illness and helps in creation of safer working environment.

Safety consultant, registered by the Director, assesses the suitability and effectiveness of protective clothes and appliances.

Source: § 101 & 102 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007

Training

In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007, it is the responsibility of an employer to provide instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure health and safety at work of his workers.

Employment of worker at any machine or in any process that may cause ill health or bodily injury is prohibited unless worker has been fully instructed about the hazards involved and precautions that must be observed. Worker should be properly trained or required to work under supervision of experienced persons.

The training is carried out on recruitment; transfer or change of job; introduction of new work equipment or materials or change in equipment or materials; and introduction of new technology. The training must be arranged regularly at workplace during working hours and adapted accordingly with the new and changed risks.

Employer must ensure that all the persons involved in work must receive appropriate instructions regarding safety and health risks including emergency procedures  during their activities at the workplace and actions to be taken in case of an emergency.

If a person fails to comply with these provisions, he/she commits an offence and is liable to a fine up to 200,000 shillings or to imprisonment up to six months or to both.

Source: § 99 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007

Labour Inspection System

Labour inspection system is present in Kenya. Occupational Safety and Health Act provides for a vibrant labour inspection system (part IV).

The Occupational Safety, Health and Injury Benefits Authority (OSHIBA) is responsible for the implementation of occupational health and safety, for improving and ensuring health, safety, security and good working conditions at the enterprises, inspecting enterprises and ensuring the  law enforcement.

The national legislation provides inspectors the power to enter, inspect and examine the work premises at any time during day or night with or without prior notice; take measurements, photographs, samples and make recordings for the purpose of examination and investigation; ask for registers, documents, certificates and notices to inspect, examine and copy them; interview any one; if the inspector is a medical practitioner he/she may carry out medical examinations; and may take police officer along with him/her if necessary.

If an occupier or his representatives do not facilitate the inspector and obstruct the execution of his duties, he/she commits an offence and is liable to a fine up to 100,000 shillings or to imprisonment up to six months or to both.

Labour inspectors are authorized to conduct proceedings arising under this Act; to obtain samples of any substance used or intended to be used at workplace; to deal with the cause of imminent danger by seizing it or causing it to be rendered harmless; and issue notices (improvement or prohibition). Inspector must not disclose any information obtained during the course of his/her duty, Otherwise he/she is liable to a fine up to 100,000 shillings.

Source: §32-42 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007

Regulations on Health and Safety

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007
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