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By Alexender Mugume

The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) has called for the enforcement of pre-employment medical tests to minimise workplace health and safety hazards.

The federation says employers have been dragged into courts of law and forced to pay fines for employing workers who are not fit for certain duties after ending up with adverse health conditions.

The federation was on February 13, 2024, presenting their views on The Occupational Safety and Health (Amendment) Bill, 2023 before the parliamentary committee on gender, labour and social development.

Dan Okanya, the head of policy and research at FUE, said as it is with the military, the law should ensure that employers, especially those in high-risk sectors such as the extraction, take on workers who are fit to work, otherwise employers will be subjected to unnecessary costs.

Okanya expressed concern that the Bill does not spell out what constitutes occupational and safety hazards, citing mental health as a critical health hazard that should not be left out.

The federation proposed that the Bill should prescribe mandatory training for all employees in safety issues such as first aid and that the employer should freely provide such training.

Charles Bakkabulindi (Workers’ Representative), who chaired the committee, was concerned with the federation’s position when it questioned the requirement in the Bill for all employers to have a safety committee, saying the law should be fair for all sizes of organisations.

Margret Rwabushaija (Workers’ Representative) warned that the Bill should cater for the interests of both workers and employers.

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