Ghana’s safety culture needs an overhaul-Kosmos Energy

The Director for Environment, Health, Safety and Security at Kosmos Energy, Dr. Kwame Boakye, has said Ghana’s safety culture needs an immediate overhaul.

Mr. Boakye also criticized and condemned what he refers to as the “compartmental approach to safety issues” at workplaces and public spaces.

Speaking at a Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference organized by the Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, STCCI in Takoradi, Dr. Boakye noted that, policy makers have failed to learn from events that should trigger effective Environment, Health and Safety policies in the country.

” Between 2012 and 2014, four major buildings collapsed in Accra, 19 people died. What happened? 8th May 2014, a helicopter crashed [in the western region], 2 people died. What [safety practices] changed? The infamous June 3 2015 twin disaster, 150 people died, what changed? 7th February 2016, 70 people died in a car crash at Kintampo, what changed? May 13 this year, a boat capsizes, what changed?” and between January and March this year, the Ghana National Fire Service recorded 2,469 fires, what is happening to this country?”

Dr. Boakye noted that, the problem has been the lack of a holistic national policy on safety as well as making safety issues a priority in policy making.

He charged the organizers of the Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference, the Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to lead the course in pushing for the recognition and the institution of a national safety policy in the national agenda.

On the effects of bad safety standards at workplaces, Dr. Boakye revealed that, some Ghanaian indigenous businesses have had to lose international contracts due to poor safety measures at their workplaces.

He said “some businesses have reduced safety practices to just signpost and wall inscriptions. But in reality, the level of safety precautions and measures are below standards. This way, they easily lose out in vying for international contracts”.

He charged safety inspectors to shun compartmental approach to safety “but rather, look for a holistic national approach in dealing with the safety of employees and the general public.

By: Obrempong Yaw Ampofo/