The Hotels, Food Processing and Catering Workers Union of Malawi (HFPCWU) has urged workers to develop themselves through other learning channels to enrich their knowledge so as to get higher benefits at their work places.
This was said during a two-day workshop on Occupational Health and Safety which was held at Monarchy Lodge along the Chirimba-Magalasi road in the Commercial City of Blantyre from May 10th to 11th.
Among other things, the participants were trained on Compensation Act whose purpose is to make regulations and provisions of compensation for workers in employment as regards to injuries suffered in the course of employment, diseases, and the establishment and administration of workers compensation fund.
”Compensation has got no limit and is meant for workers only as its name implies. Whoever gets hurt at work has to be compensated. Workers compensation is processed by the ministry of Labour only and it applies to both public and private sector,” explained one of the course facilitators Mr. Frank Adini who is Principle Labour Officer adding, “Compensation has to go through the Workers compensation Commission, the Labour Office and the injured employee. Workers should also remember to report any injury occurring at work places”
Adini further shared with the participants on issues to do with the Labour Relations Act which was enacted in 1996. “The purpose of this act is to promote sound labour relations through protection and promotion of freedom of association and the encouragement of effective bargaining among other areas,” he said.
On the Employment Act, the Mr Adini explained that its purpose is to establish, reinforce and regulate minimum standards of employment with the aim of ensuring equity, accelerated economic growth and social justice.
The Participants were also advised to establish Safety Committees at any place that employs more than 20 people. “It’s a must that companies should prepare a written policy on Safety, Health and the environment at work place and bring it to the notice of all employees to facilitate its implementation. The policy helps to control operations in order to minimize adverse effects of health,” said Goodluck Kayange who is Regional Occupational Safety and Health Officer for the South.
Kayange went on to say that an employer is supposed to report all cases of injury by the fastest means available which disable a person for three or more days and suspected cases of occupational diseases to the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health.
“In addition, the employer has the task to reporting the same to the nearest labour office under the Workers Compensation Act,” said Kayange.
The Workshop attracted over 20 participants who were drawn from Blantyre Sports Club, Dairiboard Malawi, Mkango Lodge, Rice Milling, Ryalls Hotel, Mega Bakery, Universal Industries, (Ginnery Corner), Bakhresa Malawi, Transglobe Exports, Carlsberg Malawi Catering Solutions Carlsberg and officials from HFPCWU secretariat.