ZGJP provides support for national occupation safety and health policy.
Globally, an estimated 2.3 million lives are lost each year from occupational accidents and work-related ailments and nearly 350,000 deaths result from occupational accidents, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
In Zambia, data suggests that 58 fatalities occurred in the building construction sector alone between 2003 and 2007 according to the ILO's 2012 Zambia Country Profile on Occupational Safety and Health. The mining and quarrying industry claimed the most lives followed by the chemical sector. The building construction sector ranked third.
As the country transitions to a green economy, creating decent working conditions by promoting safety and health in the work place is fundamental as this precedes increased productivity and therefore, economic growth. In this regard, the ILO's Zambia Green Jobs Programme (ZGJP), a joint UN sustainable development programme facilitating private sector development and decent jobs creation, promotes occupational health and safety in the construction sector in Zambia.
Speaking during a two-day Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) training workshop on occupational health and safety held in Kabwe, ILO country director for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Mr. Alexio Musindo intimated the importance for Government, employers and employees to collectively synergise in order to address the human and economic toll that occupational accidents bring. He called on unions to enhance their capacities in occupational health and safety, adding that this should be a major component that should also constitute collective agreements. ZGJP provided technical and financial support in reviewing of the construction regulations and drafting of the national occupational safety and health policy, process in which ZCTU actively participated. "ILO is pleased to have partnered with ZCTU to ensure that this training takes place in order to build the capacity of ZCTU affiliates in occupational safety and health," Mr Musindo said. He further assured ZCTU and other stakeholders of ILO's continued support in the future in order to make decent work a reality for all workers in the country.