Frequently Asked Questions

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) department issues three kinds of permits – the OSH Workplace Registration Certificate, Statutory Plant Examination Certificates and OSH Plan Approval Form. This number of permits may change based on new regulations developed for specific work processes.
All the permits issued by the OSH department are paid for, based on the Statutory Instrument No 87 (The Occupational Safety and Health Plant Examination and Workplace Registration Fees Regulation) of 2014. The figure varies based on the certificate, the workplace, the statutory equipment and project value of the proposed construction project for plan approvals.
The OSH workplace registration applies to physical workplaces and focusses on work processes whereas the URSB company registration may also be done for companies that do not exist physically and focusses on company legal status.
Prospective employer / client fills the “Application for Registration of Workplace” Form F.11 and submits it physically or electronically to the OSH department. Information in the form is verified by the assigned inspector, either through document review or physical inspection. Assessment is made via the URA web portal and a fee (Non Tax Revenue) levied to be paid by the client in any bank of their choice; in cash, by cheque or using EFT. After payment, the Certificate is processed. The whole process should not take more than two weeks.
OSH workplace registration with the OSH department benefits both the employer / client and the department or government. The employer is guided on the legal requirements, establishes contact with the department for technical support and is provided with some basic documentation such as the General Register. Government benefits through a better planning based on a credible data base hence more efficient service delivery.
The Certificate is currently valid for three years. This duration may change based on legal review of existing OSH legislation.
The OSH workplace registration certificate is issued by the OSH Department prior to commencement of any workplace and it does not presuppose or confirm safety of the workplace, while the Occupational permit is issued by the local government for buildings after construction to confirm safety for occupants, prior to occupation of the building.
OSH Plan approval is undertaken by the OSH department for only structures intended for use as workplaces and it looks out for aspects of welfare, hygiene, health and safety of the workplace whereas the local government plan approval applies to structures of all categories and focusses on architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical aspects of the structures.
Architectural and building plans of workplaces should be submitted to OSH department prior to submission to the respective local government.
The OSH plan approval is supposed to be undertaken prior to construction hence may be submitted by the client or their consultant. The contractor should ideally be given already approved drawings for construction.
The OSH plan approval is a government service that attracts an official fee based on the project to be undertaken; its category and project value – as stipulated in Statutory Instrument No 87 (The Occupational Safety and Health Plant Examination and Workplace Registration Fees Regulation) of 2014 and can be seen in the URA web portal.
Statutory Plant / Equipment / Machines are specific work equipment, which when exposed to conditions causing deterioration are liable to result into dangerous conditions hence should be inspected at suitable intervals by authorized government personnel. Examples include Pressure vessels, Lifting appliance, equipment or machines, Power presses and Process Machinery, Construction equipment Electrical and Exhaust/Ventilation systems.
In addition to the inspection / examination done immediately after initial installation, the period for routine statutory examination varies depending on the specific Statutory Plant:  Hoists and Lifts (Under Section 69) should be examined at least once every six (6) months  Lifting Gear, Appliances or Machines (Under Sections 71, 72 and 75) should be examined at least once every fourteen (14) months  Steam boilers or vessels (Under Section 76) should be examined at least once every fourteen (14) months  Steam, air or gas receivers (Under Sections 78 and 80) should be examined at least once every twenty six (26) months
Statutory Plant examination and certification is undertaken by authorized government personnel / inspectors.
Plant inspection, examination, servicing or maintenance may be done by competent private technical persons, however Statutory Plant examination and certification can only be done by the gazetted authorized government personnel.
The OSH Department employs inspectors of different backgrounds and specialties including;  Engineers (Civil , Electrical, Mechanical and Petroleum Engineers)  Chemists (Industrial and General Chemists)  Occupational Physicians (Medical Doctors)  Hygienists (Chemists, Biochemists and Physicists)  Health Inspectors (Public and Environmental health Scientists)  Laboratory Technicians  Occupational Nurses (Registered Nurses)  Lawyers and Legal assistants for legal advice and Prosecution
Apart from the Finance and Administration as well as the associated Institutions & Councils, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development whose vision is a better standard of living, equity and social cohesion, has three main Directorates;  Directorate of Gender & Community Development with three departments; Community Development & Literacy; Culture & Family Affairs; Gender & Women Affairs.  Directorate of Labour, Employment & Occupational Safety & Health with three departments; Labour, Industrial Relations & Productivity; Occupational Safety & Health; Employment Services.  Directorate of Social Protection with three departments; Disability and Elderly; Equity and Rights; Youth and Children. The department in charge of Occupational Safety & Health has inspection, investigation, research and prosecution functions that necessitate multi-disciplinary backgrounds and specialties to meet the needs of various workplace categories.
Accident investigation, is a multi-disciplinary function undertaken by the OSH department in collaboration with other Ministries, departments and Agencies such as Uganda Police which secures the scene and ensures that justice is served; the Forensics unit which uses scientific methods to analyze evidence and confirm the accident cause. The OSH Department during an accident investigation uses witness accounts, visual and documentary evidence to deduce immediate and root causes of a workplace accident, so as to devise means to avoid recurrence of the same in that particular or any other workplace.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2006  The Toxic Chemicals Prohibition and Control Act, 2016  Various Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)  The OSH Guidelines for Office Work Environment, April 2021  Standard Operating Procedures for prevention and control of COVID-19 in the Agricultural Sector, April 2021  Compressed Gas cylinder Safety guidelines at workplaces, April 2021  The National Social, Safety and Health (SSH) Safeguards guidelines, 2020  The Occupational Safety and Health (General Registers) Instrument, 2011. SI 9 _ 3  The Occupational Safety and Health Building Operations and Works of Engineering Construction (Safety and Health) Special Rules, 2011, SI 9 _ 8  The Occupational Safety and Health (Building Operations and Engineering Construction) (Application of Provisions) Regulations, 2011. SI 9 _ 9  The Occupational Safety and Health (Cotton Ginneries Fires) Special Rules SI 9 _ 10  The Occupational Safety and Health (Dry Cleaning) Special Rules. SI 9 _ 11  The Occupational Safety and Health (Electricity) Special Rules. SI 9 _ 12  The Workplaces (Metal Roofs and Walls) Rules SI 9 _13  The Occupational Safety and Health (Prescribed Forms) Order. SI 9 _ 14  The Factories (Preparation of Steam Boilers) Order. SI 9 _ 15  The Factories (Gas) Rules. SI 9 _ 16  The Factories (Prescribed Amendments to British Standards for Gas Plant) Order. SI 9 _ 17  The Workplaces (Volatile Paint) Special Rules SI 9 _ 18  The Occupational Safety and Health (Woodworking Machinery) Special Rules. SI 9 _ 19  The Occupational Safety and Health (Hoists or Lifts) (Exemption) Order, 2011. SI 9 _ 20  The Factories (Hoist ways and Hoists) (Exemption) Order. SI 9 _ 21  The Factories (Steam Boilers) (Exception) Instrument. SI 9 _ 22  The Occupational Safety and Health (Temporary Workplaces) (Exemption) Instrument, 2011. SI 9 _ 23  The Occupational Safety and Health (Portable Electrical Apparatus) (Exemption from Rules) Notice. SI 9 _ 24   The Occupational Safety and Health (Lifting Gear) (Annealing) (Exemption) Notice, 2011. SI 9 _ 26  The Factories (Steam Boilers) (Steam Tube Ovens and Steam Tube Hotplates) (Exception from Statutory Requirements) Instrument. SI 9 _ 27  The Occupational safety and Health (Steam Receivers) (Miscellaneous Types) (Exemption from Statutory Requirements) Notice, 2011. SI 9 _ 28  A Short Guide to The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act 9, OSH FORM F.1.
On the MGLSD Website, on various legal online platforms, in libraries or bookshops with legal documentation and in the MGLSD offices.
OSH Regulations are subsidiary legislation developed under the OSH Act and are legally binding while OSH Guidelines are non-enforceable procedures developed / issued to streamline particular work processes. Standards are technical, ethical or legal specifications that are repeatable, harmonized, agreed and documented way of doin something. Standards contain or other precise criteria designed to be used consistently as a rule, guideline, or definition.
The three are aspects of employment that fall under the three departments of the Directorate of Labour, Employment & Occupational Safety & Health. The Labour, Industrial Relations & Productivity Department handles aspects of employer-employee relations. The Employment Services Department handles aspects of placing employees into employment, both within the country and abroad. The Occupational Safety & Health Department handles aspects of safety and health within the workplace, to prevent accidents and injuries resulting from work.
In addition to specific projects undertaken from time to time and collaboration with various international bodies and organisations, the OSH Department undertakes:  Setting and enforcing national OSH Policies, Legislation, Guidelines and standards;  Workplace Inspections to ensure compliance with the OSH Act;  Approval of workplace architectural and building plans;  Statutory examinations and certification of plant and equipment;  OSH audits of workplaces to identify hazardous equipment, environment or work practices and recommend remedial measures;  Investigation of occupational accidents, dangerous occurrences and occupational diseases to prevent recurrence;  OSH Training and sensitization employers, employees and the general public;  Conducting OSH research and dissemination of findings;  Monitoring activities of workplace safety and health committees;
The OSH Department does not have inspectors at local government level, however there are plans to re-establish the regional OSH offices that were once operational. At present, the OSH department works closely with the District Labour Officers.
The MGLSD is housed in the SIMBAMANYO Estates Building on Plot 1 along the Lumumba Avenue, George Street junction, behind the Central Police Station, near the Constitutional Square.
Ideally, any worker injured or diseased as a result of their work, is entitled to full treatment by the employer. If the injury or disease results in three or more days off duty, then that is a compensable injury or disease. The injured or diseased worker should inform the Safety and Health Representative or Committee (under Section 16) within the workplace, which should then take the matter up with the employer or management, with the aim of redress (first aid, treatment and compensation). If this fails, then the matter should be reported to the District Labour Office. Procedures for redress and compensation are followed and in case this too fails, then the case may be forwarded to the Industrial Court and Medical Arbitration Board for further action.
The OSH function is primarily preventive in nature, so the OSH Department promotes the implementation of measures, systems and practices that will ensure that workers are not injured or diseased in the course of undertaking their work.
A safety and health policy is a documented statement detailing the goals, responsibilities and arrangements for safety and health at the workplace, based on the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Risk Assessment refers to the process of Identifying hazards or risks that may cause harm then analyzing and evaluating the risks associated with that hazard. The process is documented in a Risk Assessment Management Plan or Safe Work Method Statement.
The Emergency Preparedness and Response plan is a documented set of procedures to anticipate and deal with major emergencies (sudden or unexpected natural or human-induced events, whose occurrence can be predicted with some degree of certainty), whose aim is to avoid severe losses such as multiple causalities, damage to infrastructure, major environmental repercussions and possible financial collapse of an enterprise.
The workplace Risk Assessment must be undertaken by the Safety and Health Representative or Committee or whoever is in charge of Safety and Health at the workplace. In general however, some form of Risk Assessment should be done by every person undertaking any activity at the workplace to ensure that the person has planned for the task to be undertaken and devised means on making sure the task is undertaken as safely as possible.
There is currently no toll free line, however the MGLSD email ( and telephone contacts (+256 414 348443 / 347854 / 347855,) can be used in addition to the MGLSD website ( and mobile telephone numbers of any of the staff of the Ministry, should one have information to deliver to the Ministry. Once the Occupational Safety and Health Management Information System (OSHMIS) is launched, members of the public will also be able to log in and pass on or pick any available OSH–related information.