OSH Centres of Excellence
With the purpose of promoting productive, safe and healthy work practices in the sawmilling sector, two OSH Centres of Excellence have been established by the sawmillers Simbrofa Investments Ltd. in Kalulushi and Mwada Marketing Services Ltd in Mufulira, Copperbelt Province. The concept of the OSH centres of excellence was developed by the ZGJP in collaboration with the two associations for sawmillers in Zambia, COSTIGA and ZNAS.
The objectives of the OSH Centres of Excellence are twofold:
- To develop a best practice on OSH in selected sawmilling enterprises so that they could serve as a means of bench-marking OSH in other enterprises in the sector; and
- To make a business case for OSH by demonstrating that good OSH practices reduces costs and improves business productivity.
The proprietors of the two sawmills and their supervisors participated in OSH trainings conducted by the ZGJP and have subsequently chosen to implement OSH intervention measures at their own workplaces with technical input from the programme.
Interventions implemented to create a safer, and also more productive, workplace include:
- Improvement on housekeeping
- Introduction of a more logical and safer workflow
- Designation of an emergency assembly point
- Servicing of fire suppression appliances
- Strict supervision of the use of personal protective clothing and equipment
- Recycling of waste products such as sawdust and timber offcuts which is sold to industries as biomass
Positive spill-over effect
Upon seeing the positive changes taking place at the sawmills following the OSH interventions, some of the sawmillers located in the same areas have started making improvements to the safety of their own workplaces. One major area of intervention which has been embarked upon was the procurement and installation of fire-suppression appliances with their own resources. Currently, over 20 more sawmills located in various Copperbelt towns are being upgraded to OSH centres of excellence.