60 workers die, 1,786 injured from occupational accidents in 2 years

A Total of 60 workers died from occupation­al accidents at workplaces na­tionwide over the last two years, the Principal Labour Officer at the Labour Department, Mr Francis Bibuksi, has disclosed.

Similarly, he said 1,786 others suffered injuries from same acci­dents within the period.

The participants at the workshop Photo Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi  (6)
The participants at the workshop Photo Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi (6)

Mr Bibuksi who disclosed this at a training workshop on the draft National Occupational Safety and Health (NOSH) bill in Accra yesterday, said in 2022 alone, 37 workers perished while 1, 006 inju­ries were recorded.

He, however, said in 2021, 23 people died from same form of ac­cidents while 780 suffered injuries.

He explained that most of these accidents which led to deaths or in­juries such as loss of limbs, fingers, and burns occurred mostly in the agricultural, mining, manufacturing, construction and electricity sectors.

The workshop was aimed at discussing the bill and seeking ways to address occupational accidents in the country.

It was organised by the Interna­tional Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel and Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied workers (IUF) and was attended by participants from the Industrial and Commer­cial Workers Union (ICU), Ghana, Labour Department, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Health Service Workers Union of Trade Union Congress and General Agricultural Workers’ Union.

Mr Bibuksi expressed worry about how most workers in the manufacturing companies lacked training on their job resulting in such accidents.

He said most workers who suffered injuries at their workplace during the accident were either ne­glected by their employers, or only placed on workman compensation.

“Most of the victims were bread winners and such accidents have brought untold hardships to their families and depleted the human resource of the country,” he said.

He urged employers to always promote workplace safety for their employers, adding that the deaths were numerous but few were reported.

Mr Bibuksi advised workers to make their safety a priority at all times and urged trade unionists not to “rest on their oars” to ensure workplace safety, and rights of workers protected.

The Regional Women’s Coordi­nator of IUF, Ms Adwoa Sakyi, in her remarks stressed the need to pass the bill into law to improve safety and healthy working envi­ronment.

She said preventing and reducing occupational fatalities, injuries and occupational diseases had moved to another level, adding that in June 2022, the International Labour Organisation’s international confer­ence raised the status of occupa­tional safety and health to become a fundamental principle.

The Deputy Director at the Ministry of Employment and La­bour Relations, Mr Ernest Berko, said the bill was currently at the Ministry.

He said a robust and strong Occupational Safety Health (OSH) management system was require­ment for Economic Transforma­tion and Industrialisation, adding “establishment of National OSH Authority is international good practices and the best approach, instead of existing fragmented approach.”

Occupational hardards are conditions surrounding a work environment that increase the probability of death, disability or illness to a worker.


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