How safe are employees in the workplace with the rampant fire outbreaks in the country? How often are they trained to use firefighting equipment, do companies take this seriously? Aren’t companies obligated to put in place safety measures including those against fire? Dan
Every workplace is required by law to ensure safety of all employees at the workplace. All organisations in Uganda are required by law to take out insurance covers for their staff under the Workman’s Compensation Act.
The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) had earlier on conducted research and found out that workplace fires are one of the foremost threats to the people and property of any organisation. The research found out that about 45 per cent of businesses surveyed never re-opened after suffering a fire incident. Such losses are fortunately avoidable by applying basic fire prevention controls and preparing for emergencies.
It is therefore critical for organisations to implement a comprehensive safety policy at the workplace which should include among others, the investment in fire fighting equipment, the identification of staff to train as Safety Officers and appropriately equip them with knowledge, skills and & procedures to prevent fires, appropriately respond to fire emergencies and the use of the equipment to save lives and property. In addition, organisations must invest in creating safety awareness among ALL employees such that everybody knows what to do or where to go in case of any emergency.
I know of some multinational companies that take workplace safety very seriously. These companies invest heavily in ensuring that their country operations conform to world class safety standards and, they would not hesitate to move in and close down any operation irrespective of the money that unit may be making, if their internal Safety Standards Audit finds major lapses in the safety measures on the ground.
Head Human Resource
NMG - Uganda