By Yaw Nkunim
Global development is currently a most interesting landscape. The gap between the developed and developing countries has never been wider. The reasons for this prevailing imbalance in development are multidimensional. History, Knowledge, Technology, Science, Art, Geography, Economics amongst others, have culminated into the current dynamics.
Amidst various development hierarchies are internationally approved standard indexes. These international standard indicators are not only symbolic, but veritable scientific practices. One such critical ingredient of international development standards is Occupational Health and Safety (OSH). This practice is a sine qua no in any productive venture
Amidst various development hierarchies are internationally approved standard indexes. These international standard indicators are not only symbolic, but veritable scientific practices. One such critical ingredient of international development standards is Occupational Health and Safety (OSH). This practice is a sine qua no in any productive venture!
Ergonomics is a key fundamental in any economic, and indeed social venture. On the bedrock of this relationship among work, workers and environment evolves occupational health and safety for wellness. Point to any developed enterprise or country, and a solid presence of Occupational Health and Safety glares at you, as often quoted by George Poku of GEP Consultants fame.
Thus OSH has become the ultimate standard practice of development globally. If maximum productivity is to manifest, the health and safety policy of workers must be placed on the highest pedestal. This health and safety policy is a sub-economy in any national development. The more remote this policy is, the poorer the state, and vice versa.
Some ignorant elements of government business and corporate management unfortunately think OSH is only a superfluous policy. This is sadly a myopic view. International Labor Organization, ILO statistics, and that of Health and Safety Executives, HSE shows a quadrupled profits and productivity for practicing organization s. 70% of all work related accidents are also preventable!
OSH is one of the leading sources of income from general penalties and fines worldwide. It saves high national medical bills, be it insurance or direct, secures the health and safety of individual workers, underpins ‘Work and Happiness ‘ of CPP fame, guarantees the general welfare of workers, and countless positives.
At the celebration of World Occupational Health and Safety Day at the Accra International Conference Center on Friday, 26 April, Ghana’s Minister for Labor and Employment Relations, Hon Barfuor Awuah, was most impressive and assuring. He passionately declared Ghana will have an OSH Act and Policy in place by end of 2019! As acknowledged by the Hon Minister himself, this will be among the greatest legacies of himself, his ministry and the current government as a whole.
The Factories and Inspectorate Division, central pillar of OSH compliance in Ghana, needs a critical boost in capacity. It is our greatest prayer as we fervently and feverishly await the promised OSH Act and Policy by end of this year, FID’s capacity deficit will be cleared for effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation. This, indisputably will be the Midas touch to Ghana’s critical socioeconomic development. Practitioners and workers are united in this great anticipation!
The Trade Union Congress, TUC, refreshingly assured us all at the above mentioned program of its full commitment and total support for OSH. Ably represented by Andy Tagoe, the TUC’s professed commitment is most imperative. This is because it is the umbrella body that gives anonymity and weight to individual and workers’ rights. This eliminates the usual untidy issues of individual workers’ agitation like victimization and other encumbrances. We can only hope the ‘Chooboi’ fraternity stands up to their remit and make workers proud and fulfilled.
The growing consciousness of OSH in Ghana is a great positive indicator as we hope it spreads immediately to Africa and other developing countries at large. Thus, every stone must be turned to make sure the expected OSH Act and Policy by end of 2019 comes to fruition. This will indeed be the Midas touch for the quantum leap to the global pedestal of economic development. Nkunim woho mayen!
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