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Negative attitudes to safety

A Jua Kali man welding without goggles and gloves. Photo by KNA.
An exposed grader which could easily cause a fatal accident to a worker.Photo by KNA.

Lack  of  adherence to occupational safety regulations by various sectors has a negative impact on peoples’ health and everyone has been urged to change their careless attitude, which is displayed from homes to public spaces and the working environment.

The  Nakuru County Occupational Safety and Healthy Regulator, Ondimu Simba said Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the worst in flouting regulations in the country because they perceive them as a bother to productivity and profits. He was speaking to KNA in his office  on Tuesday.

He  said the  careless and negative attitude towards safety was displayed all over the place and there was an urgent need for  wananchi to take preventive measures for the sake of their health.

Ondimu said people with a negative attitude to safety at work often become careless leading to a greater risk of accidents, which are common at construction sites and at the Jua kali sector.

“Safety and health regulations are sometimes seen as a reduction to profits and employers may not see the benefits of increased safety and workers perceive it as a load of extra work, but cutting corners and resistance to occupational safety regulations becomes costly when accidents occur,’’ he stated.

He  said  while the change of behaviours was a lengthy and slow process the impacts of a positive safety culture are worthy the energy, and gave an example of the recent tragedy at Kakamega Primary School where seventeen pupils lost their lives.

Ondimu  said investing in a safe working environment raises the morale of workers since they feel valued and it has proved to eventually enhance profits.

He added that the construction the industry was where safety measures were contravened with impunity and in most places workers work without any protective gears such as helmets’ and gloves.

Unfortunately, he said the employees in most cases tend to defend the employers and they consider occupational and safety officers as adversaries to their daily earnings.

By  Veronica Bosibori

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