Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Petronella Kagonye said that implementing the Vision Zero will assist Zimbabwe in achieving the objectives of goal number 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Vision Zero is a campaign aimed at at curbing work-related accidents, injuries, diseases and fatalities in order to attain zero occupational injuries, diseases and fatalities at the work place. SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Goal number 8 of the SDGs ,which is on ‘Inclusive and sustainable economic Growth, Full and Productive Employment and Decent Work for All’ calls for protection of labour rights and promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers, including those in precarious employment according to the Minister.
“It is upon us as experts and champions in safety and health that we see the ‘Vision Zero’ campaign yield thye expected results of zero accidents, zero injuries, zero diseases and most certainly zero deaths in our workplaces,” said Kagonye.
“Every employer should ensure that all hazards exposing employees to various ailments and injuies are effectivley dealt with.”
SDGs came after the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) which Zimbabwe could not implement due to the difficult periods in the country’s economic history as reflected by the severe economic challenges according to UNDP.
“Zimbabwe made significant progress in the reduction of HIV prevalence; gender equality; primary school enrolments and provision of core text books; tertiary enrolments; literacy; maternal health; and child immunisation,” states the UNDP on its website.
“Other areas of significant progress also include information and communication technology (ICT); provision of essential drugs including antiretroviral drugs (ARVs); cessation of the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS).”
“The unfinished agenda of MDGs lingers in the form of: weak economic performance, high income poverty, the need for agrarian reform following the land reform, high maternal mortality, high HIV prevalence, the need for sustainable provision of essential drugs, food insecurity, gender equality gaps particularly in the economy and in decision making, water and sanitation needs, and inadequate environmental management,” UNDP continued.
Kagonye also said that the campaign is aimed at curbing work-related accidents, injuries, diseases and fatalities in order to attain zero occupational injuries, diseases and fatalies at the workplace.
“This strategy, therefore harnesses the collective strength of social patners that is government, employers, employees and all other occupational Safety and Healthy stakeholders to play an important role in preventing work-related accidents, injuries, diseases and fatalities.”