As Ghana marks this year’s World Safety Day (28TH APRIL) themed on “Safe and Healthy Future of Work”, the Bureau of Public Safety wish to urge employers, employees and the self-employed to commit to good culture of safety and health at the workplace so as to reduce the economic burden of workplace diseases and accidents on their income (savings), business capital, as well as the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The ILO estimates that 86 per cent of current work-related deaths come from diseases: about 6,500 people a day die from occupational diseases, compared to 1,000 from fatal occupational accidents.
As new safety and health issues emerge due to changes in working practices, demographics, technology and the environment, the continuous reference to and use of the Factories Offices and Shops Act of 1970 (nearly 50 years old Law) as Ghana’s foremost legislation for the administration of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) effectively renders a significant portion of the nation’s workforce exposed to a cocktail of hazards in their respective economic spaces. Thus, Ghana may be losing many of its working class to diseases and accidents originating from the workplace. The BPS therefore posits that Ghana’s National Policy and Bill on Occupational Safety and Health should be seen as Government’s most tangible expression and commitment to workers’ (citizens’) right to life, and thus must be passed without any further delays.
We also urge all workers to demand safe working conditions, and encourage artisanal workers who currently see very little of the State regulatory authorities to apply themselves to good safety working practices as Safety is not only about their health and life but also about the bottomline.
We wish all Safe Safety Day.