Saf Health Work.  2015 Jun;6(2):146-150. 10.1016/j.shaw.2014.12.002.

A Call for Action to Improve Occupational Health and Safety in Ghana and a Critical Look at the Existing Legal Requirement and Legislation

Affiliations
  • 1Sekondi Palm Lands, Sekondi, Ghana.
  • 2University of Magdeburg, Department of Plant Design and Process Safety, Magdeburg, Germany. emmanueladdai41@yahoo.com
  • 3Industrial Chemistry Unit, Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Abstract

Occupational health and safety (OHS) is a broad field of professional practice, which involves specialists from different disciplines including but not limited to engineers, occupational health physicians, physical and biological scientists, economists, and statisticians. The preventive systems required to ensure workers are protected from injuries and illnesses dwell heavily on engineers; however, the extent to which the engineer can go regarding planning and implementing preventive measures is dependent on specific legal requirements, leadership commitment from the company, organization, and nation. The objective of this paper is to identify the areas of opportunities for improvements in OHS management in Ghana with regard to the nation's legal requirements, commitment of the Ghana government, and Ghanaian leadership as well as appropriate structuring of Ghanaian institutions responsible for monitoring and managing OHS in Ghana. This paper identified Ghana's fragmented legal requirements concerning OHS, which are under different jurisdictions with unclear responsibilities and accountabilities. The paper also highlights the training needs of Ghanaian academic institutions regarding OHS. Among other recommendations made including structuring of Ghanaian institutions to manage OHS in line with the ILO-OSH 2001, this paper aligns the recommendations with the articles and elements of International Labour Organization convention number 155 and OHSAS 18001 elements.

Keyword

accident; health; legal requirement and occupational illness; safety
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