Challenges of implementing occupational health and safety strategies at East Africa Portland Cement Company Limited, Kenya
Kaguathi, Jane N
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The right to safe and healthy working conditions has dramatically gained a lot of interest at the global, regional and national levels. Countries around the world have recognized the universality, inalienability, interdependency and indivisibility of the human right to safe and healthy working conditions. The study was to determine the challenges of implementing occupational health and safety strategies at East African Portland Cement Company Limited, Kenya. The study was a case study of East African Portland Cement Company, in Athi River. The case study method gave in-depth information on the challenges of implementing occupational health and safety strategy in the company. The study collected data from the Board and management staff of EAPCC. The study used both the primary and secondary data whereby primary data was collected through an interview guide while the secondary data was collected from journals and the company’s reports and publications. The study specifically targeted the directors and heads of departments. Data collected was analyzed through content analysis. Data analysis was done qualitatively and presented in prose. The study established that the success of the Occupational Health and Safety strategy in EAPCC was good. The company had successfully implemented an occupational health and safety strategy (OHSAS 18001:2007) and adhered to OSHA 2007. The study found out that there were no resources challenges in the implementation of the strategy. However, it was established that both the management and the general staff initially were reluctant to change but management had started to embrace it. Organization structure was also found to affect the implementation of the strategy; the positioning of safety in the company’s structure created a gap in the company. Factors such as lack of timely correction of causes of incidences; repeat observations for issues of safety risk importance; lack of effectiveness in monitoring the quality of strategy execution and lack of effective supervision were also found to affect the strategy implementation. The study concludes that organization culture, structure, and resistance were the major factors affecting the successful implementation of occupational health and safety strategies at East African Portland Cement Company Limited. The study recommends that the company should emphasize more on safety and health awareness through sensitization programmes to enhance good safety culture. Commitment of all the employees can be ensured through clear communication of the strategy and the management commitment and support. Further, the company should restructure the safety department to ensure proper and strict supervision and adherance to the set policies on health and safety. Finally, the management should adopt visible felt leadership style to lead by example and show their commitment to the success of the strategy.