Tema employers shirk safety duty
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A number of employers at Tema have been found to be shirking their responsibility in adhering to occupational health and safety as workers have been left to acquire their safety gear.

Some of the employers have failed to provide safety gears for industrial workers, leaving the workers with no choice than to purchase the facilities themselves.

A survey by ADR Daily at the Tema port and industrial area revealed that increasing numbers of workers, particularly casual workers, procured their helmets, boots and reflective jackets by themselves.

Nii Adjetey, a truck driver who transports cargo containers told ADR Daily that he had been funding the purchase of his safety wear since he gained employment in a company about two years ago.

“I bought my reflector at the community one market along with my helmet,” he said.

According to him, before I started work, “I was told that I would get some around there so I should buy before I start work.”

Emmanuel Antwi, a machine operator at one of the chemical plants, said he purchased his boots and helmet himself.

Also, Kofi Ankrah, a security guard in a factory, said although the company gave him a safety gear upon employment, he had to replace them himself when they wore out.

The survey revealed that the worse affected are casual workers who have to purchase their safety gear.

Those unable to purchase the gears work without the appropriate working boots, helmets and reflective jackets.

The situation contravenes the Labour Act 2003, (Act 651) which requires employers to adequately cater for the occupational health and safety needs of workers.

Section 118(2) (e) of the Labour Act states that the employer shall “supply and maintain at no cost to the worker, adequate safety appliances, suitable fire-fighting equipment, personal protective equipment, and instruct the workers in the use of the appliances or equipment.”

In addition, in Section 9(c) of the Labour Act 651, the employer has a duty to “take all practicable steps to ensure that the worker is free from risk of personal injury or damage to his or her health during and in the course of the worker’s employment or while lawfully on the employer’s premises.”

By Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com

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