Parliament urged to pass occupational health hazard bill
A medical officer at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Dr. Augustine Adoliba Ayanoore has called on parliament to as a matter of urgency pass the over aged Occupational Health Hazard Bill to force various organizations to put up Occupational Health Teams in place at their work environments to prevent unnecessary occupational related health problems and deaths. He said the bill has overstayed its maturity age and is gathering cobwebs in the august house and deserved to be passed without any further delays.
He also appealed to employers to punish employees who have consistently flouted safety rules and regulations saying the cost benefit analysis points positive for organizations who insist on safety precautions against the rest. The cost of treating employees’ accidents including death of human resource has crippled many companies across the world.
Dr. Ayanoore was speaking at the safety week programme of the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) in Accra where he was consulting for the Cosmopolitan Medical Centre.
He said there must be a medical team at every work environment which is responsible for managing accidents and hazard cases which occur primarily to stabilize conditions before referring them to bigger health facilities for secondary controls.
It is imperative for employees to also religiously abide by safety rules and regulations for their own good since working place accidents and hazards have the ability to make them permanently disable or kill them and their families will be the ones to suffer because of the employees’ own negligence he noted.
Dr. Ayanoore held that in every sector of life one must be concerned about their health in order to avoid unnecessary and untimely deaths.
The General Manager of the Integrated Recycling and Composting Plant (IRECOP), Ms Betty Brown Nyadu (IRECOP) stated that any organization which does not take the safety and health concerns of its employees does not deserve to operate in recent times.
“The vision of IRECOP is to inculcate healthy and safety policies and procedures in all aspects of management decisions and to protect employees by arriving at an Accident free work environment”.
She told the attentive gathering that the purpose of the safety week in less than the company’s one year of operation was to further educate the employees on safety and health and to allow the workers to be audited to find out safety gaps and draw corrective measures to some of their operational standards and procedures.
In contemporary times, safety has moved from a voluntary option to an inevitable choice in management practice, thus- every manager should endeavor to take health and safety issues very critically to forestall the loss of lives and the payment of unnecessary claims.
Ms Nyadu said the Ghana Labour Act makes it mandatory for the employer to put premium of health and safety by minimizing hazards at the work place and as a manager to the facility that is a position she greatly share in.
“Many companies have resolved to the fact that being safe in the workplace is just the provision of reflector, boots and helmets for staff; but suffice it to say safety is in the mind – safety indicates our commitment to do things right and report activities that has the potential to cause harm and an unsafe environment”, Ms Nyadu recommended.
Over 200 staff were screened for various diseases and recommendation made to them to that effect.