He said the ministry would not hesitate to close down companies, which failed to keep good safety and environmental standards, to promote their workers’ safety and protect the environment.
Mr Ayariga gave the advice yesterday when he paid a working visit to the United Steel Company (USC) and the Rider Steel Ghana Limited at the Free Zone Enclave in Tema.
The visit afforded him the opportunity to witness at first hand the operations of the companies and also to assess the safety and environmental standards put in place to protect the workers.
He was accompanied by the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Daniel Amlalo and other senior officials of the ministry.
Briefing the media after the tour, Mr Ayariga said, the ministry would not shield companies whose operations compromise the safety of workers and impacted negatively on the environment.
At the Rider Steel Ghana Limited, the minister said, he was appalled about the safety and environmental standards at the company and entreated the management of the company to take steps to address the problem.
He noted that the staff of the company did not have enough protective gear besides the operations of the company was emitting carbon dioxide into the environment, which was detrimental to the health of the workers.
As a result of the poor safety standards at the company, the minister and the Executive Director of the EPA, directed the Safety Department of the agency to organise a safety orientation course for the company.
The Chief Financial Officer of Rider Steel Ghana Limited, Tarini P. Patnaik, said the workers of the company had been provided with helmets, safety goggles and boots to protect them from injury.
He said the company was installing new machines to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the environment.
At the USC, Mr Ayariga said, he was impressed about the safety measures put in place by the management to protect the workers and the environment.
He said, the company had deployed the latest technology in steel production, which could match their peers in the developed economies.
“We are satisfied about the operations of USC because it uses the best facilities for steel production which can currently be found on the market and, also reduces carbon dioxide emission into the environment,” he said.
Mr. Ayariga paid a glowing tribute to the management of the USC for the expansion project it was undertaking to maximise production and product lines of the company.
As result of the expansion project, the company is currently producing fridges, cooking stoves and other electrical gadgets locally.
The minister urged the management of the company not to rest on its oars, but to continue to improve the safety and environmental standards at the company.