Occupational Safety and Health Services
Health and Safety Services
The State Department of Labour and skills Development carries out health and safety services through the Directorate of Occupational Safety & Health Services (DOSHS). The Department has its Headquarters in Industrial Area, safety house and has regional offices in twenty nine (29) counties.
These services are carried out to ensure that every workplace isfree of any hazards, and complies to laid down standards to assure safety of employees. Some of these services include but are not limited to Registration of workplaces, Registration of plant, Registration of Approved persons and institutions, workplace inspection & audits, Examination & testing of plants, Accident investigation & WIBA processing.
1. Registration and Renewal of Workplaces and Plants
A client is expected to apply for the registration of a workplace.This is done using the following forms: DOSHS 21A, DOSHS 21B, and DOSHS 23. The client performs a self-assessment of their workplace. Once filled, the forms are received by the DOSHS county office, where the officer checks to ensure that the forms are duly filled. If the forms are properly filled, the officer requests the client to pay the Registration Fee and the OSH Levy. If the forms are wrongly filled, have missing details, or mismatched entries, they are sent back to the client for corrections. Once the client pays the requisite fees, the forms are forwarded to the DOSHS headquarters in Nairobi.
When received at the headquarters from the counties, the forms are checked at the central registry. The head of Field Services at the headquarters checks the forms for wholeness.
If the forms are wrongly filled, have missing details, or mismatched entries, they are sent back to the county for corrections to be made in consultation with the client. If the Head of Field Services certifies that the forms are duly, their details are entered into the system.
This is followed by the printing of the certificate, which is sent to the director for signing. It is signed and sealed and forwarded to the registry for dispatch to the county. When received at the county headquarters, the Workplace Registration Certificate is forwarded to the client
By performing registration of plants, DOSHS is able to maintain installation and examination information on boilers, hoists and lifts, cranes and other lifting equipment, air receivers, steam receivers, refrigeration plants, cylinders for compressed/liquefied gases. A client is expected to apply for the registration of a plant. This is done using the following forms: DOSHS 20.
The client performs a self-assessment of their plant. Once filled, the forms are sent to the Technical Officer at DOSHS headquarters. If the forms are properly filled, the officer requests the client to pay the Registration Fee and the OSH Levy.
If the forms are wrongly filled, have missing details, or mismatched entries, they are sent back to the client for corrections. Once the client pays the requisite fees, the forms are forwarded to the DOSHS headquarters in Nairobi. When received at the headquarters from the counties, the forms are checked at the central registry. This is followed by the printing of the certificate, which is sent to the director for signing.
It is signed and sealed and forwarded to the registry for dispatch to the client. Workplace Registration Process flow DOSHS Approvals and Registration of Approved Persons and Institution.
This helps in the recruitment and certification of competent persons and institutions for provision of DOSHS prescribed services. The approved persons include Occupational Safety and Health Advisers, Fire Safety Auditors, Air Quality Monitors, Plant Examiners, Designated Health Practitioners, and Engineering Control Examiners. At the start of the process, DOSHS meets to determine the need to recruit and certify competent persons and institutions. If a need exists, DOSHS places an advert in the local newspapers.
This opens the recruitment process, which has a deadline. Applicants pay an application fee against their applications. DOSHS creates a shortlist from the application for oral and written interviews. Successful candidates are required to pay an amount for the induction. Candidates that make this payment are taken through the induction and initial training.
They are added to the list of approved persons and institutions.
2. Workplace Inspection
This involves checking the condition of workplaces to prevent injuries, illnesses, incidents, and accidents. Through a critical examination of the workplace, inspections help to identify and record hazards for corrective action.
To conduct an inspection, a DOSHS officer at the county office conducts an impromptu visit to a workplace. They check compliance to laid processes and procedures, conditions of the workplace, compliance to legal requirements. The DOSHS officer recommends the appropriate action based on the conditions observed at the workplace.
They may issue an improvement notice, prohibition notice, or recommend training. If no major contravention that warrant a notice, the officer writes a note for file in the undertaking file of the work place. Workplace Audits i.OSH audits: - carried out by approved Safety and Health Advisers. Audit report is written in accordance with the code of practice for OSH auditing.
ii.Fire Safety Audit: - Carried out by approved Fire safety auditors. Fire audit report
iii.Hygiene Surveillance: - Surveillance on workplace contaminants and hazards which include the following;
- Noise survey;
- Air quality monitoring;
- Thermal Environment survey;
- Environment impact assessment;
- Audit of ventilation etc.
iv.Other Risk Assessment: - Both quantitative and qualitative assessment of a workplace carried out at the inception of a workplace and thereafter, upon major changes that may alter risk levels in the workplace.
v.Provide reports on any of the functions including monthly, quarterly and annual returns for each county office, workplace, approved person, and occupational safety and health officer
3. Examination and Testing of Plants
This helps to ensure that plants are tested and examined to guarantee that they are in a good working condition. DOSHS maintains a list of all approved persons and institutions and their locations around the country. DOSHS assigns workplaces to the approved persons, who conduct site visits to examine their plants. The approved persons fill the statutory form, scans, and email it to the technical officer at DOSHS.
The technical officer examines the forms to determine the safety standards of plants in the visited workplace. After evaluating the examined plants in a particular workplace, the technical officer can issue a prohibition or improvement notice.
4. Accident Investigation and WIBA Processing
When an accident occurs, and an employee is injured, the employer must report to DOSHS County offices within 24 hours if the accident is fatal, and within 7 days for non-fatal accidents. Using DOSHS1 form.
This triggers an accident investigation. A county DOSHS officer visits the workplace where the accident happened. They write a report on the nature, cause, and impact of the accident. The form is used as the basis to seek compensation through WIBA (Work Injury Benefit Act). The employer is held responsible if they have not taken up WIBA. Insurance cover.
A payment certificate (WIBA 7) is issued once a claim is paid. The investigation file is closed.