Medical Officer at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Augustine Adoliba Ayanoore, has called on Parliament to as a matter of urgency pass the over aged Occupational Health Hazard Bill.
The Bill when passed, he said, would force organisations to put up Occupational Health Teams to prevent unnecessary work-related health problems and deaths.
A statement signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency by Dr Ayanoore, noted that the bill had overstayed its maturity and was gathering cobwebs in the august house and therefore needed to be passed without any further delay.
He appealed to employers to punish employees who consistently flout safety rules and regulations, saying, the cost-benefit analysis points positive for organisations to insist on safety precautions against the rest, the statement said.
It explained that the cost of treating employees’ accidents including the death of human resource had crippled many companies across the world.
According to the statement, Dr Ayanoore said this at a safety week programme organised by the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) in Accra.
The statement said it was necessary for every work environment to have a medical team to manage accidents and hazard cases to stabilise conditions before referring them to bigger health facilities for secondary controls.
The statement quoted Dr Ayanoore as saying: “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.”
Ms Betty Brown Nyadu, the General Manager of IRECOP, said any organisation which did not take the safety and health concerns of its employees into consideration did not deserve to operate, the statement said.
The vision of IRECOP, she said, was 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.
The statement said in contemporary times, safety had moved from a voluntary option to an inevitable choice in management practice, and therefore advised every manager to take health and safety issues critically to forestall the loss of lives and the payment of unnecessary claims.
Ms Nyadu, according to the statement said the Ghana Labour Act makes it mandatory for the employer to prioritise health and safety by minimizing hazards at the workplace and IRECOP believed in it.
“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 have the potential to cause harm and an unsafe environment,” she said.
The statement said over 200 staff were screened for various diseases and were given medical counselling.