Some of the participants
The Ghana Institute of Safety and Environmental Professionals (GhISEP) has implored government and management of companies to promote employees’ health and safety in organizations.
Speaking to journalists at a forum organized by GhISEP to mark this year’s World Safety Day at Tarkwa in the Western Region, Samuel Koffie, National Vice President of GhISEP, said Ghana’s economy is growing steadily, with the growth being driven by agriculture, construction, mining, education, transport and artisanal industry, among others. With this growth, hazards emanating from work in all the sectors of the economy have increased.
“However, health and safety issues are virtually relegated to the fringes at workplaces, especially the informal sector and residential areas. There is therefore the need for companies and the government to invest in the protection of employees to establish an authority to regulate occupational health and safety issues at workplaces and public spaces,” he added.
It was under the theme, “Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Vulnerability of Young Workers.”
He bemoaned the absence of a system for the recording and notification of occupational accidents and diseases across industries and sectors of the economy.
He also highlighted awareness creation on the basic preventive measures, including education and training on health and safety at homes and workplaces was low.
“For instance, there is no reliable data on the number of people, who are fatally injured or suffer from various injuries and diseases due to exposures at the workplace.
“We believe that awareness-raising campaign focusing on the magnitude of the problem, and on how to promote and create a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related incidents and illnesses,” he added.
He suggested that it would be prudent for those in charge of the country’s educational sector to include lessons on occupational safety and health in the various curricula.
Mr. Koffie revealed that there is a draft national bill to regulate Occupational Health and Safety at workplaces and that GhISEP, as an institute, has been given the opportunity to review it and make inputs.
“We have made recommendations and we have been informed that the Ministry of Labour would soon ensure its passage,” he indicated.
Ransford Gyambrah, Group Manager-Health, Safety and Environment at ZOIL Services Limited and CANOG Oil and Gas Limited, also stressed the need for the promotion of occupational, health, safety and environmental issues in organizations.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Tarkwa