Government urged to speed up passage of Safety Bill

By Jonathan Donkor, GNA

Elmina (C/R), Sept.
2, GNA – Health and Safety Ghana (HSG), Ghana’s premiere health and safety
think tank, has appealed to the Government to speed-up the passage of the
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) draft bill into law.

According to Mr
Francis Dzifa Ahadzi, Founder and President of OHS, the bill currently at the
cabinet level, has delayed although it was needed to enhance the well-being of
workers in relation to their health and safety.

When passed the law
would create comprehensive national framework for effective coordination and
harmonisation of OHS issues in the country, strengthen related research and
protect workers from work related accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Mr Ahadzi made the
call in an interview on the sidelines of a visit of some members of the think
tank to Groupe Ndoum (GN) Industrial Estate and the GN Quarry both in Elmina to
interact with management and staff and acquaint themselves with the health and
safety measures.

He said the
existing OHS laws in the country are limited in scope, do not cover vast
majority of industries and do not include the informal sector, though it forms
the majority of the country’s workforce.

He said because of
the non-existence of a comprehensive law on OHS employers are flouting the few
laws with impunity, to the disadvantage of many workers in case of casualty,
especially those who could not afford to take legal action.

Mr Ahadzi advocated
the setting up of Authority or an agency that would be empowered to preside
over only on OHS cases, just as it is the practice in some Western countries.

He said though
Ghana is a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which
promotes rights of workers and strengthen work related issues it is yet to
ratify the ILO convention 155 on OHS.

This he noted was
due to the non-existence of the comprehensive OHS law unlike the more than the
50 countries, which have ratified the convention.

He therefore
expressed the need for the passage of the OHS bill into law as soon as

According to the
ILO, every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or
work-related diseases while more than 2.3 million deaths are recorded every

The convention
provides for the adoption and coherent national occupational safety and health
policy as well as action to be taken by governments and within enterprises to
promote OHS and ultimately improve working conditions.

Mr Ahadzi indicated
the commitment of the think tank to continue to provide advocacy, research,
training and advisory services in OHS, water and food safety and environmental
management to ensure the safety of workers.


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