Yesterday, the world, including Kenya, celebrated World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
This is an important day for workers across the globe as it is dedicated to creating awareness and preventing occupational disease in addition to accidents in the workplace.
The focus is on the development and maintenance of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management system.
To create a safe working place for all.
However, one Kensalt Limited has taken the saying, ‘for Kenyans working with Indians, it is 1619 every day’, a notch higher.
Companies in Kenya are exposed every day as crooked.
A few weeks ago, Caleb Otieno fell into a metal boiler at the Thika-based Blue Nile Rolling Mills Limited and died on the spot. The firm’s compensation for his work, a mere Sh420k, angered Kenyans in equal measure.
Here below is another case of negligence by the firm which is now trying to escape responsibility.
This is to highlight a workplace injury I suffered whilst working as a casual labourer- loader- at Kensalt and Supplies and Services Ltd.
The two companies are both under the same umbrella of vast Solai dam owners’ wealth. and their Nairobi depot is located along Airport North rd. next to Coca-Cola.
I broke my right arm while working in early February of this year and until today I’m yet to be compensated despite the higher-ups at the Nairobi offices having told me to write up an account for all that took place the very next day following the accident to send it to the head office in Mombasa for insurance purposes. The said account will be attached below.
I have been out of work since February due to my injury and the Nairobi boss – One Mr.’Clarence’- an Indian, has said I’m not to get back until HQ approves it even if it’s to carry out lighter duties around the depot.
More absurdities come into being because through my injury and recovery process I haven’t been given a single cent from that place that incapacitated me and took away my ability to work or even find work elsewhere, yet I have a wife and a little 2-year old child ho solely depend on me since she’s unemployed as well.
Since February, I’ve just been racking up more and more debts and these guys don’t have a care in the world.
After getting injured and having been forced to write up my account of the events and a witness wrote up his account and the storekeeper/supervisor was to write his account of the events and hand it over to the bosses which were to be scanned and sent to the Mombasa head office for insurance compensation purposes nothing has materialized to date and upon legal consultation, my lawyer told me that the company itself was to report my case to the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services (DoSHS) to keep track with the whole compensation process with their insurer.
READ: Documented: Kenyans As Slaves, Indians As Masters
This was never done by the company and it seems either Mombasa have been ignoring correspondence from Nairobi or Nairobi hasn’t been contacting Mombasa concerning the same. Either way I’m the one who’s at a total loss whilst they carry one with operations as normal since I’m expendable as any other drone.
It was towards the end of march that I went over to the directorate and asked them if my case had been brought forward by my employer and ‘no’ was their reply but they handed me a form for my employer to fill out- attached.
After that I took it to the hospital where I was treated- MLKH and the doctors there told me that my employer had to fill it out along with the requisite stamp, first before the doctor could hand over their report and then take it back to the DoSHS.
Now that’s where they go and come again process has been stuck because every time I go back to Kensalt, they say the HQ hasn’t filled out my form yet and I check on them another time. I’ve only so far filled out my details on the said form and I’m yet to get my employer to fill out their part.
The guy at the DOSHS told me that such cases are difficult to handle because most Asian employers avoid such cases at all costs so as not to be held accountable and they also practice under the radar hiring to avoid being held accountable by the law of the land at the same time making astronomical amounts of cash off desperate people’s backs.
I’m still jobless and hungry and indebted. I might never get compensated. I might never get rehired there. Even if it’s not for me and my young family’s sake, how about those men that put their blood sweat and tears at Kensalt ltd Nairobi depot?
Will these shady hiring practices by the powerful keep continuing?
Where’s the government?