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B-METRO COMMENT: Make safety a priority in the workplace

As the country sets its sights on reviving industry after years of recession, there is a danger of trying to get ahead by cutting corners and not following laid down procedures. A�

In fact, for many people who have been hit by unemployment for years, they are likely to accept any form of employment and even under very hazardous conditions.

It is important that even as we dust off our old machines and set them in motion, we also give due regard to issues of safety at the workplace.A� Human resources are the most important resource after all.

Elsewhere in this issue we carry a story in which a worker at a mine was electrocuted while trying to charge their cellphone by unprocedurally connecting wires to a running machine.

It was quite telling what fellow employees said of the incident as they revealed that they often did the same thing to charge their phones since there was no power at the remote mine.

The machines could be running on diesel or some other source of power and these men had improvised to meet their communication needs through charging their phones.

It is important to follow laid down safety procedures a slight deviation from the norm could result in loss of life, as happened in this case. We have had instances where workers are equipped with safety equipment but find it cumbersome to use it, leading to some not using the safety gear.

A good example is that of welders that decide not to use prescribed goggles while going about their work.A� Some of them actually put the proper equipment aside and expose their eyes to danger, with some even using ordinary sunglasses while welding.

The blame, however, cannot fall on the employees alone since some employers subject their employees to unsafe working environments, leading to injury and death in some instances.

We would like to implore authorities to capacitate industry inspectorates so that they carry out periodic inspections to ensure that workers are protected from greedy employers that seek to cut costs through endangering their workers.

While we mourn with those that lost their loved one, it is our hope that the survivors and those that read about the case learn from the experience of these unfortunate employees.

Also, it should also challenge the employer to provide even a solar powered charger to ensure that the employees are not tempted to improvise dangerously due to a lack of a better alternative.

Let us make safety a priority in the workplace.