Today marks World Safety Day, and in Ghana, the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) is urging citizens to commit to safety and health in the workplace to reduce the spread of diseases and accidents, thus, reducing economic burdens.

According to the International Labour Organisation, 86% of all work-related deaths come from preventable diseases. Additionally, 6,500 people die everyday from occupational diseases, compared to approximately 1,000 deaths 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,” reads a statement from BPS. “Thus, Ghana may be losing many of its working class to diseases and accidents originating from the workplace.”

BPS is imploring the government to pass Ghana’s National Policy and Bill of Occupational Safety and Health bill, which would significantly reduce the number of deaths in the workplace.

“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 bottom line,” the statement ends.