Varsity Hosts Occupational Safety and Health Workshop

Salma makes her presentation

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in collaboration with OSHPRO company conducted an Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Workshop to deliberate on appropriate risk management measures that will contribute towards strategies and policies to enforce workplace safety.

The workshop which was hosted by JKUAT on July 30, 2019, attracted OSH practitioners and physicians, researchers, regulators, County OSH Officers, students among other stakeholders.

Salma Bashir, a postgraduate student from the University of Southern California, USA,  who presented on Workplace Terrorism,  said workplaces are vulnerable to terror attacks due to large groups of people found in work places especially in urban areas, media coverage and publicity associated which such attacks and because they represent an ideology that is different from the attackers.

Salma warned that workers should be vigilant and alert to terror, adding that attacks can cause deep psychological and mental effects at workplace such as severe emotional distress and paranoia, increased substance abuse disorders, depression and suicide among other things.

She stated that organizational consequences of work place terrorism included, job dissatisfaction, lowered organizational commitment, turnover intentions and job neglect among others.

Another presenter, Patrick Njogu, a representative from Nyeri County Health Department and a continuing postgraduate student at JKUAT who presented on Adequacy of Work Environments in Public Dispensaries and Health Care Centers in Kenya, revealed that his study indicated that healthcare settings post more lost work day cases each year and probability of employees in healthcare suffering injury is higher than in other sectors.

A group discussion on new emerging and contemporary occupational safety and health risks

Contained in a study he conducted in Machakos County, Mr. Njogu indicated said all the health facilities did not adhere to building plans approved by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and therefore were not compliant.

Other speakers during the forum included; Dr. Charles Mburu of JKUAT, Dr. Nicole Palmen from Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and Environment, Dr. Yogindra Samant, Directorate of Labour Inspection, Norway and Mr. Abdulqadir Suleiman from OSHPRO.

Other topics discussed during the workshop included; Understanding emerging risks, Scenario building and risk characterization as well as Challenges in dealing with emerging risks.

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