Ghana has no reliable data on occupational health – Lecturer
Dr Francis Nsiah, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast (UCC) has stressed the need for the country to develop effective mechanisms for the collection of reliable occupational health and safety data.
He said Ghana, though a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) did not have any reliable data on occupational health and safety for the purposes of policy formulation and research.
Dr Nsiah, an expert in Workplace Safety and Health was speaking at a Stakeholders’ Seminar in Cape Coast to mark this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
He spoke on the topic “Optimize the collection and use of occupational safety and health data, a contribution to the implementation of sustainable development Goal 8”.
The seminar, organised by Health and Safety Ghana (HESAG), Ghana’s premiere health and safety policy institute brought together representatives of the various trade unions, employers, health and safety practitioners, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in health and safety, academicians and government agencies in charge of workplace safety and health.
Dr Nsiah said the collection and utilisation of reliable occupational safety and health data were indispensable for the detection of new hazards and emerging risks.
He said it would also help in the identification of hazardous sectors, the development of preventive measures, as well as the implementation of policies, systems and programmes at international, national and enterprise levels.
“There is the need to get accurate occupational health and safety figures to help us plan against occupational injuries, accidents and diseases” He added.
Dr. Nsiah said there was the need to educate workers and employers on occupational health and safety issues and to make occupational health and safety information available to all adding that “awareness is good but knowledge is very important”.
He maintained that workers need to be protected against workplace hazards at all times and that the Ministry of Employment and Labour must lead the way in these matters.
He said workers must be aware of their working environment and take personal responsibilities for their health and safety at all times as workplace safety remained a shared responsibility between the employer and the employee.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 8, Target 8.8, focuses on the “protection of labour rights and promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.”