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What do you know about the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)? If you know nothing, or don’t know enough, you could be liable to a fine not exceeding KES 500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both… or threats to human life at your workplace!
In this article, we are going to tell you what OSHA is, and the highlights you should definitely know about.
What is OSHA?
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, No. 15 of 2007 and revised in 2010, provides for the safety, health and welfare of workers and all persons lawfully present at workplaces. As such, it is the responsibility of every employer to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all employees at work working in his/her workplace.
Your Obligation as an employer.
- Provide and maintain the plant and systems and procedures of work that are safe and without risks to health.
- Make arrangements for ensuring safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.
- Provide information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the safety and health at work of every person employed.
- Maintain the workplace in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and provide and maintain necessary means of access to and egress (outlet) from it that are safe and without risks to health.
- Provide and maintain a working environment for every person employed that is safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for the employees’ welfare at work.
- Inform all employees of any risks from new technologies and imminent danger.
- Ensure that every person employed participates in the application and review of safety and health measures.
- Carry out appropriate risk assessments in relation to the safety and health of employees and, on the basis of these results, adopt preventive and protective measures to ensure that under all conditions of their intended use, all chemicals, machinery, equipment, tools and process under the control of the employer are safe and without risk to health and comply with the requirements of safety and health provisions in this Act.
- Send a copy of each risk assessment report to the Area Occupational Safety and Health Officer.
- Take immediate steps to stop any operation or activity where there is an imminent and serious danger to safety and health and to evacuate all persons employed as appropriate.
- Register your workplace unless such workplace is exempted from registration under the Act.
How about the employee?
- Ensure their own safety and health and that of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at the workplace.
- Co-operate with their employer or any other person in the discharge of any duty or requirement imposed on the employer or that other person by this Act or any regulation made hereunder.
- At all times wear or use any protective equipment or clothing provided by the employer for the purpose of preventing risks to their safety and health.
- Comply with the safety and health procedures, requirements and instructions given by a person having authority over them for their own or any other person’s safety.
- Report to the supervisor any situation which they have reason to believe would present a hazard and which they cannot correct.
- Report to their supervisor any accident or injury that arises in the course of or in connection with his/her work.
- With regard to any duty or requirement imposed on their employer, to co-operate with the employer or another relevant person to enable that duty or requirement to be performed.
Section 99 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, specifies that a worker shall not be employed at any machine or in any process liable to cause ill health or bodily injury unless he/she has been fully trained as to the dangers likely to arise in connection therewith. All employees have to be trained on general and specific Safety and Health Measures
This training has to be carried out on recruitment; transfer or change of job; the introduction or change of new work equipment or materials; and the introduction of new technology. The training shall be adapted to take into account new changed risks and be repeated periodically. The cost of training shall be incurred by the employer.
How Medswift Can Help
Medswift is the leading First Aid Training and Fire Safety Trainers & Consultants in the Kenya. We are the one-stop shop for all types of DOSH approved Work place First Aid and Fire Safety/Marshals Training, Health & Safety consultants Fire Extinguisher installation, servicing and inspections as well as First Aid Kits.
Basically, we make sure everyone in the workplace has information on safety, and is well equipped (knowledge and equipment) to be safe in the workplace.
We also help you comply with OSHA!
Talk to us to book your training!