Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, has attributed many of the avoidable workplace accidents to lack of safety protocols and standards.
He said industrial accidents always came at a great loss and cost adding “indeed, in recent times, we have had needless work related hazards many of which could be avoided with strong enforcement and compliance”.
The Minister for Labour Relations and Employment was speaking at the third Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference organized by the Sekondi/Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry held under the theme: “Emergency Response and Disaster Management in the Corporate Environment”.
He said in 2015 and 2016 for instance, 2,697 and 1,096 work place accidents were respectively recorded with the Labour Department and a total of GHC 6, 724, 654.44 was paid as workmen’s compensation with an outstanding debt of GHC 5,105, 324.30 to be paid.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said more is needed to be done to improve the current Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) situation in the country.
He said the OSH legal and regulatory regime is fragmented and this has resulted in incoherent and conflicting administrative systems and there is the need to align the national OSH management efforts with the ILO standards and programmes for greater benefits”.
Dr Tony Aubyn, Convener for the GEISCON 2017, said the country must aspire to develop in a very safe environment “we cannot always allow God or nature to take care of our safety…we as a people need to be proactive knowing that safety is central in our daily operations”.
He alluded to the remarkable gains made with regards to health and safety in the extractive industry and called for a national holistic approach to OHS efforts.
Mr Ato Van-Ess, Chairman of the STCCI, said there are too many conditions and accidents that have occurred and there is the need for collective efforts by all to avert such incidents.
“The STCCI sees the need for safety compliance as non-negotiable. This conference is, therefore, unique in gathering all ideas and expertise to provide the needed ingredient to advice and call for the right policies to be adopted by labour, employers, agencies and government to promote defensive safety and health culture.
Mr Anthony Sam, the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Chief Executive, said government is committed to deliver the needed infrastructure to promote safety and adequately respond to emergency cases at workplaces.