Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPCC) has urged Raiply Malawi to improve on workers safety within its work environment.
Speaking after touring the company’s factory in Viphya Plantations in Mzimba on Saturday, MPCC members, who were accompanied by journalists, noted that almost all factory workers had no protective gear.
MPCC co-chairperson Alex Major said the absence of protective gear was putting workers’ lives at risk.
“As a caucus, we are concerned with the safety of workers here. They work with heavy machinery but without protection. It is a risk to their lives and it is not acceptable,” he said.
For instance, some workers wore slippers while others wore sneakers instead of gumboots. Most did not have protective hats to cover their heads in case of objects falling on them.
In an interview, the workers said the company does not provide them with protective gear.
“We are not even given the mouth mask to protect us from contaminated air. We know it’s risky but we continue working because we need the money,” said one worker.
But Raiply chief executive officer Krishna Das claimed the workers are given the safety gear which they leave at home.
“We provide workers with protective gear at the beginning of each year but they leave it home. It is unfortunate the committee has seen this. We hope to improve in this area,” he said.
Located in the Viphya Plantations, Raiply covers 20 000 hectares of the plantations’ 53 000 hectares. It employs 2 000 workers and contributes K2.5 billion annually to government in taxes.
MPCC toured the company to appreciate the company’s work.