Work-related deaths decline


THE number of people dying in work-related accidents slightly declined to 38 in the first half of this year compared to 43 fatalities during same period last year, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has said.

Gamma Mudarikiri
Own Correspondent

In its latest Occupational Safety and Health report, NSSA said 38 people were killed while 2 755 were injured in the six months ended June.
NSSA said the rate remained static in the elevated mode for both months of May and June, signifying a stagnant safety situation in the various work places in the country.

According to the report, most causalities occurred in Harare, which recorded 20 deaths from 1 073 injuries although — to-date lost-time injury frequency rate continued on a down path.

NSSA said lost-time injury frequency rate was recorded at 2,16 compared to 1,86 recorded in the same period last year.
“The difference of +0,3 translates to a deterioration of 16,13%,” NSSA said.

NSSA last month introduced an “Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme” to promote safety and health at workplaces and provide financial relief through the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fund, for those injured in work-related accidents. This was followed by a review in workers’ injury pensions which were increased to $45 from $30, while pension for widows or widowers were raised by a paltry $10 to $30 with effect from August 1 this year.

Retirement pensions went up to $60 from $40, survivors and invalidity pension and children allowances to $30 from $20 per month.
Funeral grants — which are once-off payments — were increased to $300 up from $200, again with effect from August 1, meaning a pensioner without any funeral cover might not afford a decent burial.

Children allowances went up marginally to $15 from $10.
Analysts have pointed out that the meagre allowances meant pensioners would continue wallowing in poverty, as the cost of living is expected to surge with envisaged price increases of most basic commodities.