Development of the Occupational Safety and Health Bill In the Kingdom of Lesotho
Why do we need an Occupational Safety and Health Bill?
The absence of a national legislation on occupational safety and health has trivialized occupational safety issues in the labor market in Lesotho. It is therefore imperative for the government of Lesotho to strengthen the regulatory framework in this field to protect the workers from workplace risks and hazards, including biological hazards. The Ministry of Labour and Employment with the financial and technical support of the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support Project is in the process of developing the Occupational Safety and Health Bill in pursuance of the National Occupational Safety and Health Policy of 2021. The bill is developed in compliance with international labor standards and treaties and in a phased approach.
Phases of the development of the bill
An inception phase was aimed at engaging a consultant, describing the objectives of developing the bill and devising methodologies for gathering information that would inform the development of the bill. Phase two focused on reviewing the Lesotho’s regulatory framework for occupational safety and health, including relevant treaties ratified by Lesotho. Stakeholder consultations constituted the key component of the review with a purpose of determining the changes in the current regulatory framework. Phase three dealt mainly with the development of the issue paper, which was informed by the information collected from the stakeholders’ consultations. The stakeholders were reached through media platforms, including radio and television and the regional publicity workshops on the 9th to 11th May 2022 in Maseru, Mohale’s Hoek and Leribe.
Final Phase: The Ministry of Labor and Employment with the assistance of the Ministry of Justice will draft the bill and further stakeholder engagements will be continued during the process. It is envisaged that by end of July 2022 the draft bill will be finalized drafting of the regulations and guidelines will commence.