Government reviews laws on occupational hazards

The government has started reviewing laws on occupational hazards and disabilities to reflect the realities of the current trends.

The initiative aims at updating the current laws which are deemed outdated and were designed basing on the Belgian contex.

This was discussed at a stakeholders meeting held over the issue in Kigali yesterday.

Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Service and labour, and Ministry of Local Government are spearheading the exercise.

The laws that’s in force was enacted in 1980 and lays emphasis on mining-related diseases, the key economic activity at the time. The law seems irrelevant or incomplete compared to the current situation in the country, officials say.

Oswald Munyandekwe, Director of Pension and Pre-retirement Benefits Department at Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), said that it is now seven months since they started the process.

They want the final document to reflect accuracy, quality and respect of international standards of the documents in order to harmonise the compensation mechanisms.

 “The consultancy work is being done with experts in health. The current law is a bit challenging since it lacks some important elements. In addition, the document was in French only. The exercise is crucial for different stakeholders, especially RSSB, insurance companies, and hospitals,” Munyandekwe said.

A new draft legislation is expected later this year.

Dr Juvenal Hategekimana, a consultant and specialist in occupational health and safety, noted that the harmonised laws will mitigate various conflicts between the victims, insurance companies as well as health professionals.

He added that a new law will also enable Rwanda to comply with international labour organisations standards.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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