The Government of Ghana expressed alarm over the level of unhealthy and insecure workplaces in which private sector employees worked.
? ?Speaking at the commemoration of this year?s World Day of Safety and Health at Work, Minister for Employment and Labor Relations, Nii Armah Ashietey lamented the loss of critical work force to chronic diseases, injuries and death.
?Evidence collected shows that occupational diseases and injuries remain predominant in the private sector because leadership of some private sector establishments ignore occupational safety and health standards and guidelines due to cost implications and profit considerations,? Ashietey remarked.
He said while the public sector paid 956,362 Ghana cedis or 503,348 U.S dollars in compensation to 121 victims of occupational accidents last year, the private sector paid 915,177 cedis or 481,672 dollars in compensation to 273 victims of industrial accidents..
The minister said a national policy on occupational safety and health had been formulated and were almost ready to be submitted to cabinet.
He said the Department of Factories Inspection had also been strengthened in recent years to carry out their mandate of ensuring safety in factories.
The minister called on all stakeholders to cooperate with government in ensuring occupational safety and health in the country.
?It is n our own interest if we work together as a team to establish and enforce appropriate system, standards, guidelines and regulations of occupational safety and health,? the minister stressed.
In her message, Minister for Health, Hanny-Sherry Ayittey cautioned that inappropriate lifestyles in the work places had the tendency to increase the spate of communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB) and non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart-diseases.
?These are caused by a combination of factors such as sedentary work, poor eating habits and lack of exercise,? she added.
She therefore hoped that the draft policy on occupational safety and health would soon be approved to strengthen the alliances among stakeholders in Ghana?s labor sector.
Joyce Aryee, former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who chaired the function, said the rise in issues of occupational hazards was because the country failed to promote occupational health and safety at the workplace.
She asked the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) to use its research wing to collate data on occupational health and safety issues so decisions and policies could be reached from informed positions.? Enditem.
?? Source: Justice Lee Adoboe