THE Ghana Employers Association (GEA) has organised a one-day training workshop on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) for over 45 workers and representatives of the manufacturing space in Ghana.
The session, with support from the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) which is Norway’s major organization for employers and the leading business lobby was to equip participants with the relevant OSH knowledge and tools they need to spread awareness and best practices across various manufacturing companies in Ghana.
Participants at the training programme were equipped with skills to identify hazards at the workplace, assess the risks of those hazards to see how significant or insignificant they are, the controls workers need to put in place to curb the hazards and how to review the controls to ensure a safe working environment.
The facilitator for the programme was Puma Energy Country Health Safety Security Environment and Community (HSSEC) Manager Mr Fred Asante Antwi
Opening the workshop, Director of Industrial Relations at the GEA, Mr Joseph Kingsley Amuah noted that proactive management of OSH related issues was critical for enterprise development and wellbeing of workers.
According to Mr Amuah, it was important to admit that “workplace accidents and occupational diseases are expensive and have the potential of diverting scarce resources from productive business engagements, in addition to its adverse implications on the general well-being of workers and their families.”
Mr Amuah described as worrying the fact that some aspects of existing legislation providing for the safety, health and wellbeing of persons at work in Ghana were outmoded, limited in scope, scattered and under the jurisdiction of different Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“The absence of a unique and standard OSH framework is affecting the way and manner work-related injuries, accidents and near accidents at workplaces is addressed,” the GEA industrial labour relations expert stated, adding, this gap has resulted in huge expenses incurred by businesses to defray compensation to their workers who suffer various degrees of work-related injuries, and also fixing, replacing and installing equipment to maximize safety.”
GEA with support from the NHO developed sectoral OSH Guidelines to support employers and businesses to adequately mainstream the culture of OSH management in every workplace.
The general objective of the guidelines is to ensure that health and safety management in the workplace constitutes a core management function that is on going and promotes a culture of cooperation between the major stakeholders (I.e., Government, Employers and Workers).
He announced that efforts were underway to develop similar guidelines for members operating in the Banking, Financial and Hospitality industries.
The guidelines were prepared on the basis of a broad-based approach and shaped by internationally agreed OSH principles as defined in relevant International Labour Standards.