The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has asked for strong collaboration with business owners to ensure health and safety issues at workplaces are made a security risk.
This, the Ministry said should be in anticipation of a new law on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS).
The Chief Inspector in-charge of Factories at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Fred Ohene Mensah, who made the remarks, observed that an effective and efficient system on occupational health and safety was crucial to help minimise and prevent workplace accidents, injuries, hazards, medical illnesses and death.
“Make health and safety issues at workplaces paramount to ensure workers are salvaged from accidents and death,” Mr Mensah said this when he represented his sector Minister at the second edition of the Health Environment Safety and Security (HESS) Awards scheme on August 28 in Accra.
According to him, health and safety issues are virtually relegated to the fringes at workplaces especially the informal sector and residential areas, leaving indelible cost when they occur.
While ensuring health and safety issues at workplaces are made a security risk, the Chief Inspector observed that an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) bill was currently before Cabinet awaiting approval to be forwarded to Parliament.
The bill, he said when passed into law, will create a comprehensive national framework for effective harmonisation of occupational safety and health issues in the country to enhance the well-being of workers.
“When that bill is passed by Parliament it would also create an opportunity for many people to get employment because it mandates every organisation that employs at least 20 people to hire safety officers.”
As part of efforts to promote workplace health and safety, he said a protective umbrella to ensure physical, social health and safety in work environments was essential for the growth of an organisation.
The HESS awards
The IanMatSun Global Services limited organised the HESS Awards to identify, publicly recognise and celebrate outstanding companies for exceptional performance and innovations.
It is focused on occupational health, safety, security and the environment, all of which are key aspects of responsible corporate behaviour with regards to their employees, subcontractors, suppliers, clients and other stakeholders.
This year’s event was on the theme; Recognising outstanding achievements and celebrating business excellence and innovation focused on occupational health, safety, security and environment.”
Some of the recipients included Goldfields Ghana Limited, Puma Energy Ghana Limited, Lapaz Community Hospital, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, B5PLUS Limited, and Extrail Support Service Limited.
Opportunities under Covid-19
The Board Chairperson of the HESS Awards scheme, Dr. Mrs Diana Heymann-Adu, said the awards scheme was designed to create awareness, raise the bar of excellence and showcase success, thereby encouraging others to adopt best HSSE practices and uphold the highest standards of HSSE management and practice.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has created dysfunction across the world and exposed the weakness in the global supply chain, she said it had also presented numerous opportunities that could be nurtured to build a stronger and resilient economy.
“This pandemic is a wake-up call for us to grow our economy to be self-reliant and as a country we must learn from it and work hard to win ourselves out of the situation,” she added.