Health and Safety in the Workplace
What is occupational safety, health and welfare?
This basically refers to the prevention and regulation of accidents occurring to persons employed or authorised to go into workplaces. In short, employees in workplaces need to be healthy and be protected.
Do we have an Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act in Botswana?
According to occupational, safety, health and welfare documents in Botswana, currently the regulation of occupational health and safety is built into several acts under the custody of many government ministries – such as the Factories Act (under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security); the Food Control Act; Public Health Act and Control of Smoking Act (under the Ministry of Health); Agrochemicals Act (under the Ministry of Agriculture); the Mines, Quarries Works & Machinery Act (Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources); the Atmospheric Pollution (Prevention) Act and Waste Management Act (Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism); and the Radiation Protection Act (Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology).
Do we have a specific company or firm which handles the issue of occupational safety, health and welfare in Botswana?
There is such a division in Botswana and its offices are:
- Gaberone Head Office, Tlhagiso Maison, Plot. 136, Independence Avenue
- Francistown Regional Office, Ntshe House, First Floor, East Wing, Office 2.06
- Selebi-Phikwe Regional Office, BBS Building, First Floor, Office 128
What job does the division do?
The core business of the division includes:
- The perusal of factory building plans for suitability of designs
- Registration of factories
- Inspection of factories and other places of work such as building operations and works of engineering construction
- Registration and inspection of plants and machinery
The division also disseminates information on occupational health and safety and it participates in the drawing-up of Botswana National health and safety standards.
Does the division punish employers who do not adhere to the rules and regulations?
The division is not mandated to do so; an inspector who seeks to do so must obtain a court order. The main duty of the division is to regulate safety, health and welfare in workplaces.
Workplaces are supposed to be safe for employees, hence division inspectors make sure that companies work according to regulations. A workplace must be seen to be substantially suitable for and compatible with the work that is intended to be carried out.
Take our Decent Work Check to see how your workplace matches up.