Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services (DOSHS)
The Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services (DOSHS) is one of departments within the Ministry of Labour and East African Community Affairs, whose primary objective is to ensure safety, health and welfare of all workers in all workplaces. Unsafe and unhealthy work environment causes accidents, diseases, disasters and environmental pollution that occasion huge economic and social burdens to individuals and enterprises thereby stifling economic and social growth.
Vision : A healthy worker in a safe work environment.
Mission : To develop and implement effective systems for the prevention of workplace diseases, ill health and accidents in order to reduce damage to property and work injury compensation claims for improved productivity.
Organization of the Directorate
For operational purposes, the Directorate is made up of seven divisions namely,
- Safety Division,
- Occupational Hygiene Division
- Occupational Health Division
- Work injury benefits administration division
- Occupational Safety and Health Institute
- Administration, Training and Information Division
- Field services Division which is represented in 29 Counties headed by County Occupational Safety and Health Officers.
Ag DIRECTOR, DOSHS: S. Thuita
The Directorate enforces Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007 (OSHA, 2007) with its subsidiary legislation which aims at prevention of accidents and diseases at work. It also administers the Work Injury Benefits Act, 2007 (WIBA, 2007) which provides for compensation of workers who have been injured or have suffered a disease out of and in the course of employment.
The Directorate is also the lead agent in implementing the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health.
The Directorate serves as the secretariat of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) whose role is to advise the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Labour matters on all issues pertaining to occupational safety and healthin Kenya.
In fulfillment of its responsibility of identifying hazards at workplaces and assessment of risks with a view of preventing accidents, diseases and damage to property, the Directorate undertakes the following functions;
Systematic inspection and auditing of workplaces to promote best practices and ensure compliance with safety and health standards as set out in OSHA, 2007 and its subsidiary legislations.
Examination and testing of steam boilers, air and steam receivers, gas cylinders, refrigeration plants, passenger lifts, hoists, cranes, chains and other lifting equipment to ensure their safe use.
Identification, evaluation and control of biological, chemical, physical, psychosocial, ergonomic and other factors in the work environment which may affect the safety and health of employed persons and the general environment.
Medical surveillance, including medical examination to monitor and check on the health status of the workers and advise on intervention measures.
Training and awareness creation on occupational safety and health in order to promote safety and health culture in the country.
Ensuring compensation to employees for work related injuries and diseases contracted in the course of their employment in accordance with the provisions of WIBA, 2007.
Investigation of occupational accidents, dangerous occurrences and cases of Occupational diseases with a view to preventing recurrence.
SERVICES OFFERED BY THE DIRECTORATE
Carry out inspection and examination of industrial Plants and equipment in workplaces;
Approval of architectural Plans for new workplaces and alteration of existing workplaces;
Participation in the development of Safety Standards under the Standards Act.
Develop and ensure the implementation of standards for machinery safety, Plant, equipment, electrical installations together with those of building operations and works of engineering construction
Advise employers and employees on ergonomic standards for all work places;
Analysis of accidents related to machinery equipment and processes for purposes of developing intervention measures.
Occupational Hygiene Division
Monitor, evaluate and recommend standards for the control of harmful agents in the work environment.
Recommend threshold limit values and occupational exposure limits on harmful substances in the workplace.
Advise employers and employees on control of occupational hazards at the workplace.
To test the efficiency and effectiveness of personal protective equipment and prescribe specific standards for specific processes.
To evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the design and installation of engineering control measures with regard to occupational hazards for compliance with established standard practices.
Occupational Health Division
To carry out medical inspections of workers to determine the effect of the work environment on their health;
To conduct epidemiological surveillance of occupational diseases in the working environment.
To re-evaluate decisions on cases of occupational diseases and occupational accidents for compensation under Work Injury Benefits Act.
To formulate systems and policies to integrate occupational health services into national health care system.
The Work Injury Benefits Administration Division
Processing of work injury benefits for all workers including civil servants who are injured while on duty.
Collect, collate and analyse data on accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences at workplace.
Provide professional guidance in the investigations / Inquiry of work injury benefit claims which require further investigation.
Occupational Safety and Health Institute
To develop training programmes and conduct occupational Safety and Health Training
To conduct occupational and coordinate research and surveys on occupational safety and health issues
Training and sensitization of employers and employees in the field of occupational safety and health and work injury benefits compensation procedures.
Carrying out surveys and research on work related injury and work injury compensation issues.
Administration, Training and Information Division
Overall coordination of the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2013-2017 and the departmental work plans.
Co-ordinate the development and dissemination of safety and health information
Administer of the Occupational Safety and Health Fund.
Carry out training needs assessment, develop and co-ordinate training and welfare, programmes for staff in the Directorate.
The Field Services Division
Inspect workplaces on occupational safety and health standards in accordance with OSHA, 2007;
Carry out hygiene surveys in workplaces to determine and control their Indoor Air Quality and/or Noise levels;
Conduct investigations of occupational injuries occurring in all work places;
Conduct training programmes in safety and health of employees
Conduct legal proceedings against non- complying occupiers
Monitor the activities of DOSHS approved persons and institutions.
Major Programmes and Projects
Establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Institute. – This is a Vision 2030 flagship project. Once completed and equipped, the institute is expected to spearhead training and research on occupational safety and health. In addition it will serve as a testing centre for plant, materials, personal protective equipment (PPE), dust and fumes samples from workplaces and also as a demonstration centre with models of best methods for control of hazards. It is currently at 85% completion.
Surveillance of work environment and workers’ health – This entails systematic and comprehensive inspection of workplaces for purposes of reducing exposure of hazards to workers and also medically examining workers to determine effects of exposure. Currently, acquisition of specialized equipment for sampling, analysis and control of workplace air-borne contaminants, physical agentsand medical equipment is on-going.
Enhance capacity to enforce OSHA and WIBA- This is through review of current Acts of parliament and developing the necessary rules and regulations to improve enforcement.
Awareness creation on Occupational Safety and Health– Carried out through sensitization and training workshops for both employers and employees. Major awareness campaign is held during the World day for Safety and Health at work every 28th April and the week preceding it.
Administration of Work Injury Benefits Act – To improve efficiency, the time taken to process work injury benefits claims by the Directorate has been drastically reduced from 30 days to 12 days.
- Why do we need to register our workplaces with the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services?
This is to ensure compliance with the OSHA 2007 act at the initial stage (when starting out) because it can be quite expensive to comply later on
- How do we get registered?
The occupier will apply for registration by filling and returning to the directorate, the application for registration form, DOSH 21A. The occupier will also fill a self assessment form (DOSH 23) that gives the general occupational safety and health standards of his workplace. The certificate of registration under OSHA will then be processed and sent to the occupier
- How much does it cost to register my premises as a workplace?
It costsfive thousand shillings(2000/= Registration fee and 3000/= OSH Fund Levy) to registeryour workplace and this is done on an annual basis.
- Where is the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health services located?
The Headquarters is located at Safety House, Commercial Street, Industrial Area Nairobi, We also have field offices which are located in the following Counties;
- WHAT IS WIBA?
The Workers Injury Benefit Act (WIBA), 2007 is an Act of Parliament to provide for compensation to employees for work related injuries and occupational diseases contracted in the course of their employment. It repealed the workmen’s compensation Act cap 236. The Act came into operation as from 2nd June 2008.
- Who administers the Act?
The Act is administered by the Director of Occupational Safety and Health Services in the Ministry of Labour.
- Where does the Act apply?
This act applies to all employees, including employees employed by the government, but not members of the Defence Forces.
- Who is entitled for compensation?
An employee who is involved in an accident or disease resulting in serious disablement or death related to his employment is entitled to compensation
- Who is paid compensation in case of death?
If an employee dies as a result of an injury caused by an accident, compensation should be paid to the dependents of the employee.
- How do we report accidents?
Every employer should report an occupational accident to the Director of Occupational Health and Safety Services on the prescribed form (DOSH 1) within seven days after having received notice of an accident or having learnt that an employee has been injured in an accident.
In case of fatal accidents, the accident should be reported within twenty four hours after occurrence by fastest means possible and thereafter through DOSH 1 within seven days.
PHYSICAL LOCATION/CONTACT ADDRESS/TELEPHONE/EMAIL ADDRESS
Safety House, Commercial Street, Industrial Area,
NAIROBI P.O. Box 34120 – 00100, NAIROBI
Tel: +254 20 2667722, 0775833676/5, 0791571344
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com