A Health, Safety and Environment Expert and Consultant, Philip Nana Asante, has called on the government to engage the services of safety officers at the various health institutions to assist both health workers and the public.
According to him, most health facilities in the country do not have safety officers, who will advice and guide both clients and employees on safety and emergency issues.
In his view, having safety officers present at the health facilities help promote good working culture and prevent accidents, injuries, and work-related illnesses in the workplace.
This, he said, was important, because some health workers, patients and visitors ignore some basic safety guidance, since safety is a different issue in healthcare when compared with other areas.
He said: “The general health, safety, welfare, environment and security of every workplace is very paramount, and so health facilities are also obliged to provide suitable prevention and control measures in these directions, to ensure total protection of all and sundry within these facilities.”
The safety expert added that many of these hazards and risks can be counted in most of the country’s major and minor health facilities, and little has been done to change or control these grave situations.
He indicated that common hazardous and risks practices regarding health, safety, welfare, environment and security that one can find in the health facilities include bad aisles, walkways and floors, lack of enough ramps over steps, lack of sanitised toilets and urinal places.
The rest are of lack of better and adequate patient handling equipment, such as slide sheets, transfer boards, wheelchairs, handling belts and trolleys.
In a research document by Mr Asante, some health facilities like the Achimota Hospital need safety officers to develop appropriate safety indicators to gauge its progress.
One other challenge the research revealed was lack of effective ambulance services to the hospital, which is not helping the hospital to serve the public efficiently.
Others include ineffective pedestrian gate usage, bad positioning of information desk to reduce main entrance space, and bad portions of routes to transport patients on trolleys from the theatre to the main wards.