Sep 8, 2017
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations is developing an Occupational Health and Safety Bill which seeks to regulate occupational health and safety issues in the working and public environments.
When passed, the Bill will establish an Authority to regulate and enforce labour safety in the country.
Mr Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations announced this at the opening of the third Extractive Industry Safety conference organised by the Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to the Minister, health and safety issues lacked attention in organisations, especially in the informal sector and residential areas, resulting in massive losses.
Also, he said the practice costs the country several millions of Ghana cedis in workplace compensations.
“When an industrial accident occurs, we lose valuable human capital and financial resources. In 2005 and 2016 for instance, the Labour Department had to pay a whopping GH6.7m as workman’s compensation in the formal government sector borne by the tax payer. As I speak, GH5.1m is outstanding and remains unpaid for nine months in 2017 alone.”
“We also recorded in 2016, 1,096 workplace accidents as against a figure of 2,697 in 2015. This figure is discounted by a statistical back figure of unreported cases especially in the informal sector of the economy,” he said.
He believed that the Bill when passed, would help to save the situation.
“The Ministry is working assiduously in getting the draft National Operational Health, and Safety Bill approved by cabinet and passed by Parliament. This will usher in a new era of occupational health and safety and health management in Ghana. We will establish a National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Authority which will be responsible for all OHS matters in the country,” he stressed.
The authority, he explained, “will reflect the consolidated body of all the existing OSH institutions with reformed structures. Its main aim is to pursue policy measures that prevent workplace accidents, enhancing coordination among the various wings, improve rehabilitation and enhance compensation.”
The Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual Extractive Industry’s Health and Safety Conference, partners other international chambers of commerce to discuss matters of health and safety in the sector.
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com