Government has been asked to sign onto the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention (155) to ensure effective occupational health and safety in and around workplaces.
“The Factory, Shop and Office Act currently in operation in Ghana limits the Factories Inspectorate Division in the execution of its duty”, Dr Stephen Ankamah-Lomotey, Metropolitan Director of Factories, Tema has said.
He said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on how workers and the public could be protected from industrial related fires and hazards in the wake of the explosion of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) pipeline, which claimed the life of an innocent passerby.
According to him, Article 4 (2) states, “The aim of the policy shall be to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of work, by minimizing, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment”.
Dr Ankomah-Lomotey said Article 3 (c) of the Act which states, “the term workplace covers all places where workers need to be or to go by reason of their work and which are under the direct or indirect control of the employer,” was a veritable piece of law that offers protection for even members of the public who may suffer injury by the activities or installations of industry.
He said most industries take the environment and the people for granted, adding that, they hardly monitor their installations for safety and efficiency.
“The frequency at which the integrity test and hardness test is conducted on pipelines for instance has to be increased as long as they carry out their operations and also more sophisticated gadgets have to be applied to enable them to quickly detect faults”.
He said occupational safety and health should be the priority of the government.
He therefore called on Oil companies to increase the security personnel at post and give them the needed education on their pipeline.
He also called on the various Assemblies to increase their monitoring activities to ensure that the public is not exposed to the hazardous operations of industries.
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