Construction Industry Most Hazardous Workplace in Uganda

9597 Views Kampala, Uganda
The construction industry is top on the list of the three most hazardous workplaces in Uganda. This is followed closely by quarrying and agriculture. Katula Yusuf, the Principal Safety Inspector Ministry of Gender Labour and Social development says workers at construction sites remain one of the most vulnerable groups in Uganda's workplaces. Kampala like any other sprawling urban center has seen a boom in construction; Yet Hundreds of workers at construction sites continue to suffer serious injuries and ill health through working in construction. The main causes of death and injury are falls, crushes, impacts and electrocution. Common health problems include deafness, and exposure to hazardous substances such as solvents. Katula however says that the problem has been aggravated by lack of awareness by workers on their rights at work places and the employer's unwillingness to insure their businesses. //Cue in...majority of." Cue out...to save a lot."// Plan consults Construction Company, constructing the Mabirizi complex opposite Kampala's Central Police station, hires more than 50 causal laborers. Tom Wamala, the site engineer however says that the employees are not usually warned about the dangers involved, for fear of turning away the much-needed labor at the construction site. But Haresh R. of Pramukh Construction Company limited, currently constructing a four-storied building along Kampala road says that their insurance covers do not cover the laborers because they are hired on a temporary basis. He however says that the company is aware of the dangers involved and has tried top provide goggles, hand gloves and safety shoes to all the workers. Uganda's occupational safety and health act, requires that companies employing more than 20 people should have health and safety committees that report on identified risks by workers. But none of the construction sites visited in Kampala had these committees. The workers too are not even aware of the act. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) at least 60,000 people are killed every year on construction sites. That's around one death every 10 minutes. The industry accounts for almost one in 5 of all fatal workplace accidents. Statistics show that the death toll in the construction industry, is around the same as the number of soldiers and civilians killed through state-based armed conflict each year, over the past decade.

 

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