Let’s prevent workplace accidents and diseases – Prof. Barku

Cape Coast, Professor Victor Yao Atsu Barku, the Director of Programmes and Planning at Health & Safety Ghana (HESAG), has called on employers, employees and regulatory authorities to do more to ensure workplace accidents and diseases were reduced drastically in Ghana.

The recent global figures released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on deaths resulting from workplace accidents and diseases showed an increase from the previous estimate of 2.3 million deaths per year to a new estimate of 2.8 million deaths.

Prof. Barku, who was part of HESAG’s delegation to the just ended 21st World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Singapore, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast.

He expressed the belief that Ghana must adopt the Vision Zero Concept for prevention of workplace diseases and accidents.

He said currently, occupational health and safety issues did not receive the necessary attention it deserved as majority of Ghana’s legal provisions on Occupational Health and Safety were limited in scope.

The Factories, Offices and Shops Act 1970, Act 328, and the Mining Regulations 1970, LI 665, which have driven occupational health and safety implementation in the manufacturing, shipping and mining sectors till now require huge modifications, he said.

Sharing his experience from the congress, Prof Berku, who is also a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast, said the congress was an eye-opener for delegates from developing countries, particularly Africa.

It was an occasion to share experiences and ideas with Occupational Safety and Health professionals from other countries on how to promote a global vision of prevention, he said.

The congress, he said, also served as a platform for networking with other stakeholder organisations, learning new technologies for resolving workplace health and safety issues and international best practices of preventing injuries and accidents.

The congress was held from September 3 – 6 and was attended by about 4000 delegates from 38 countries around the world. It was on the theme: “A Global Vision of Prevention.”

Source: Ghana News Agency


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