IFWEA Global Knowledge Community News

May 10

Octavia Mohlala – Health and Safety in the Workplace

Octavia Mohlala is the Operations Manager at UNI Africa. She is part of the group of participants enrolled in the IFWEA programme How to Design an Online Course. She spoke to us about how the course has gone, and what she has learnt:

Why did you decide to do this course?

The course is online therefore convenient to anyone, especially workers. We know that in Africa internet access remains an issue, so with an online course there is an opportunity to do it when it best suits you and when resources are available. There are also no restrictions – you don’t need to travel to access your course, you can do it anywhere, anytime.

What did you decide to design?

I focused on Health and Safety at the Workplace. Most workers are vulnerable and do not know their safety measures and standards. This course will take them through all this by setting up guidelines to workplace safety as well as knowing their rights at the workplace. For example, a pregnant woman cannot be expected to lift heavy loads at work or stand for  a long time. Something similar applies to men – if they feel that some duties are putting their lives at risk, then they should know where to draw the line and which procedures to follow.

How is the course design going?

The course is still taking shape, I still need to modify it. It has not reached that level where I can say I am satisfied. I feel that there is still more to be done.

Would you recommend your course for others, and why?

Most definitely, to raise awareness especially now that the whole world has been hit by a pandemic and workers have been exposed. Now is the time to take extra precautions.

How will you use this course for your organisation?

It will be used as part of an awareness-raising campaign and will need the active involvement of shop stewards and organisers. This will help them gain recognition in their respective workplaces as they will be ensuring that safety protocols are followed, and must be able to investigate incidents and report them on time.

Do you plan to design another course?

Yes, I am thinking about online organising. We need to face reality. Things will not go back to normal. Most information sharing and activities will be done online.

Please tell us your role in the organisation you work for?

I am the Operations Manager at UNI Africa. I am office-based so I don’t go out and recruit members, but this opportunity will allow me to interact with members via the online course and also get their views.

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