SCD launches breakfast meeting for SMEs

Business News of Monday, 21 December 2015

Source: B&FT

Jubilee Oil RigFile photo

The Ghana Supply Chain Development (SCD) Programme has held its maiden Breakfast meeting in Takoradi for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the oil and gas and related extractive industries.

The meeting forms part of SCD’s new initiative to help SMEs continue expanding their knowledge in the industry, as well as support the nation’s Local Content policy.

The SCD is leveraging this new initiative to keep SMEs abreast of industry requirements and demands, so they have a competitive edge and added confidence to meet the necessary standards to win contracts.

The topic of the breakfast meeting series’ inaugural edition was ‘New Age Environmental Health and Safety (EHS): Current Trends in the industry’.

The discussion was led by Mr. Tawiah Adjei, Quality Safety Health and Environment Management Systems Trainer and Auditor of Qualms Group; Mr. Shamsudeen Sidi Adam, Head of Occupational Health and Safety for Golden Star Resources; and Mr. Henry Rhule, Health and Safety Engineer of FMC Technologies International Services in Ghana.

While environmental health and safety concerns continue to remain high on the priority-lists of players in the oil and gas industry, implementation and compliance to standards related to EHS is largely affected by several factors, including national regulations, public demand and economic issues.

The experts therefore disclosed global predictions of trends based on data from the global EHS practices in 2014 and 2015.

Among these predictions are a globally harmonised system in EHS, bigger demand for safety professionals, and increased scrutiny of regulators as well as a rise in safety incidents and fatalities

Mr. Adam of Golden Star Resources said SMEs should not see EHS as somebody’s work, and that it should be daily safety acts — “We execute this to make the big differences in our workplaces and in our lives”.

Mr. Ruhle of FMC also recommended the SMEs to collaborate more with the international oil companies, as well as follow procedures when it comes to EHS; and get the necessary compliance certificates issued to them before bidding for a contract as well as continue building their capacity, since this topic is fairly new to businesses in the country.

Mr. Tawiah Adjei, who is also a training provider for the SCD, assured the SMEs that as gloomy as some of those prediction are, if SMEs do their due diligence and put the right systems and procedures in place at their workplaces they will not be hit by some of those discouraging predictions and trends. However, he said SMEs should get prepared for the emerging market.