EPA marks World Safety Day

Madam Constance Dag Roberts, Head of Occupational Health and Safety, EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday marked the World Safety Day (WSD) with a call on Ghanaian workers to ensure that they observe safety protocols at their various work places.

The WSD, which was begun on April 28, 2003 is celebrated annually to promote the prevention of occupational hazards and ensure the safety of workers.

The theme for this year’s celebration is – “Lets Act Together to Build a Positive Safety and Health Culture” and it is intended to enhance occupational safety.

Addressing the media, the Executive Director of EPA, Mr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, while admonishing Ghanaians to adhere to safety protocols noted that the International Labour Organisation, estimates that 317m people are involved in different forms of work related accidents annually.

Out of this figure, 2.3m people die out of the accidents annually and when computed daily, it amounts to 600 people.

On the local level, Mr Kokofu indicated that safety is a challenge in most governmental and private institutions.

He made reference to a research work which found out that a survey conducted on fifty nine workers in Anwiaso in the Western Region revealed 102.0ug/l and 34.5 concentrations of mercury in their blood and urine.

He said this figure is far above what the World Health organisation recommends and called on Ghanaian workers to be more cautious of their safety.

He, however, commended the country for doing well in observing the Covid-19 protocols. He first commended the government for ensuring that equipment and tools needed for protecting the citizens were in place and commended Ghanaian employers and employees for observing the protocols and helping to contain the spread of the disease.

He however indicated that there is more work to be done as it not only covid-19 that Ghanaians should protect themselves from but other forms of occupational hazards which existed even before the emergence of Covid-19.

He indicated that management should endeavour to build a a safety culture at the workplace and ensure inclusion in its implementation. He said this will make workers feel comfortable and work efficiently.

“Management is always advised to be proactive in collaborating with workers to find appropriate, effective and sustainable safety solutions”, Mr Kokofu said.

He noted that the EPA has an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) department that has put together a program to create the necessary awareness and education for workers nationwide and believed it will go a long way to help institutions in the country adopt the culture of safety.

On her part, Madam Constance Dag Roberts, Head of OHS unit at the EPA was of the view that many people are not observing safety protocols at work because there is no law in place.

She hinted the presence of a bill which is being worked on so that Ghana can have a law that will be aimed at regulating the safety of the Ghanaian worker.

She indicated that in the absence of the law, what her department does is to educate and advocate for people to observe safety protocols at their various work places and would ensure that that work is done well to drum home the message of safety in the ears of Ghanaians.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here