Rivermate | Burkina Faso flag

Burkina Faso

Health and Safety Standards

Explore workplace health and safety laws in Burkina Faso

Health and safety laws

Burkina Faso's legal framework for health and safety aims to protect workers from hazards and promote safe working environments. The main sources of legislation are the Labour Code of Burkina Faso, the Health and Safety Order, and supplemental regulations and decrees.

Employers' Responsibilities

Employers in Burkina Faso have extensive health and safety responsibilities. These include a general duty of care, risk assessment and prevention, ensuring safe workplace conditions, maintaining safe equipment and machinery, providing information, instruction, and training, providing and maintaining personal protective equipment (PPE), arranging for health surveillance, and reporting accidents and incidents.

Workers' Rights and Responsibilities

Workers in Burkina Faso also have rights and duties regarding health and safety. These include the right to safe and healthy work, the right to refuse dangerous work, the right to information and participation, and the responsibility to cooperate.

Specific Areas of Regulation

Burkina Faso's health and safety laws cover various workplace safety areas such as chemical hazards, physical hazards, biological hazards, ergonomics, and fire safety and emergency preparedness.

Enforcement and Penalties

The Labour Inspectorate is responsible for enforcing health and safety regulations. Violators of health and safety laws may face fines or, in severe cases, imprisonment.

Adhering to Burkina Faso's health and safety legislation is crucial for protecting worker health and well-being, creating a productive work environment, and avoiding legal consequences.

Occupational health and safety

In Burkina Faso, occupational health and safety (OHS) is a significant concern, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, mining, and the informal economy. The Labor Code of Burkina Faso (2008) provides the foundation for OHS in the country, outlining employer responsibilities, workers' rights, and the establishment of workplace safety and health committees. Further regulations are issued by the Ministry of Labor and Civil Service, detailing industry-specific OHS standards.

Key OHS Issues

Agriculture, a major employment sector, presents significant OHS risks including pesticide exposure, animal-related injuries, and ergonomic hazards from manual labor. The growing mining industry also poses hazards such as dust exposure, risk of collapse and accidents, and noise pollution. Many workers in Burkina Faso operate in the informal economy, where OHS regulations are often poorly enforced, leading to exposure to hazardous substances, unsafe working conditions, and a lack of protective equipment.

OHS Institutions and Enforcement

The Ministry of Labor and Civil Service is responsible for developing and enforcing OHS regulations. The Labor Inspectorate conducts workplace inspections and enforces OHS compliance, but limited resources and capacity hinder effective enforcement. The National Social Security Fund (CNSS) provides workmen's compensation for occupational injuries and illnesses. Occupational Health and Safety Committees, required by law in workplaces with a certain number of employees, play a role in identifying and addressing OHS risks.

Challenges and Recommendations

There's a need to raise awareness of OHS principles among employers and workers, especially in agriculture and the informal sector. Training programs are essential. Strengthening the Labor Inspectorate and its resources is crucial to ensure compliance with OHS standards. Improving data gathering on occupational injuries and illnesses would help pinpoint key risk areas and inform policy decisions. Cooperation between government, employers, workers, and civil society organizations is needed to enhance OHS in Burkina Faso.

Workplace inspection

Workplace inspections play a crucial role in verifying compliance, identifying potential hazards, and educating both employers and workers on their responsibilities. The Labor Inspectorate, under the Ministry of Labor and Civil Service, is responsible for conducting these inspections in Burkina Faso.

Inspection Criteria

Workplace inspections in Burkina Faso generally focus on key areas such as general workplace conditions, machinery and equipment safety, handling of hazardous substances, fire and explosion prevention, personal protective equipment (PPE), and record-keeping.

Inspection Frequency

The frequency of workplace inspections is not specifically mandated by law in Burkina Faso. Factors such as the sector and risk level, worker complaints, and resource availability often determine the inspection schedules.

Inspection Procedures

The inspection process typically involves a notification, an opening meeting, a walkthrough inspection, a closing meeting, and an inspection report. Employers may or may not receive prior notification of an inspection.

Follow-up Actions

After the inspection, employers are given a timeframe to address any identified violations. Follow-up inspections may be conducted to verify compliance. In cases of non-compliance or serious violations, the Labor Inspectorate can impose fines, issue work stoppage orders, or even initiate legal proceedings.

Workplace accidents

In Burkina Faso, employers are obligated to report all workplace accidents that result in injury or death to the Labor Inspectorate and the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) within a specified timeframe, typically 48 hours for serious accidents. They are often required to use a specific accident reporting form provided by the authorities.

Investigation Processes

Employers are expected to conduct an initial investigation into the causes of the accident and take steps to prevent a recurrence. In cases of serious accidents or fatalities, the Labor Inspectorate may conduct a more in-depth investigation. This can involve interviews with witnesses, examination of the accident scene, and review of relevant documentation. Where a Workplace Safety and Health Committee exists, they may also play a role in the accident investigation process.

Compensation Claims

Workers injured in workplace accidents or those who develop occupational diseases are entitled to compensation through the CNSS. This includes medical expenses, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and survivor benefits in case of death. Workers or their families must file a claim with the CNSS, along with supporting documentation such as medical reports and the accident investigation report. If there are disputes regarding compensation claims, these may be referred to a labor tribunal.

Key Challenges

Many workplace accidents, especially in the informal sector, go unreported due to lack of awareness or fear of repercussions. Limited resources of the Labor Inspectorate can hinder thorough investigations into all workplace accidents. Bureaucratic procedures within the CNSS can lead to delays in processing compensation claims.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.