OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND
HEALTH IN GHANA
Ghana has a mixed economy
dominated by agriculture,
commerce, service and industry.
The emerging oil sector will
provide significant impetus to
the economy in the foreseeable
future
Nearly 80 percent of the workforce is in
the informal sector. This sector is
associated with high safety and health
risk but falls outside current national
OSH regulatory framework.
Ghana’s OSH policy and law must thus
be designed to address extreme
situations, the needs of the informal
sector, the growing industrial and
emerging gas and oil sectors.
Knowing the Ghanaian’s poor attitude
towards compliance with national laws
and the weak law enforcement in general,
regulating the OSH in the informal sector
is a major challenge.
•
Thus we must explore ways of
designing efficient and effective OSH
law coupled with innovative and
facilitatory compliance mechanisms
rather than relying on traditional,
inspection, punitive and reactive
approaches in law enforcement
GHANA’S PRESENT REGULATORY
FRAMEWORK
The current OSH laws are outmoded in
formulation (prescriptive in orientation),
limited in scope and coverage, has not kept
pace with international development, has
areas of inconsistency, its definitions do not
address occupational diseases and it has
complex legal procedures which delays
judgement.
The implementing bodies have
limited capacity to develop and
implement national safety and
health policy, no single
institution has full capacity to
assume oversight responsibility
over OSH.
In addition there is
fragmentation in enforcement
effort, overlapping areas of
responsibility, absence of
coordination and differences
in approach
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF MINISTRIES
 The regulation and promotion of
occupational health and safety is the
responsibility of three Ministries
mainly, the Ministry of Employment
and Labour Relations, the Ministry of
Land and Natural Resources, Ministry
of Energy.
• The Environmental Protection Agency,
Ministry of the Environment, Science
and Technology and the Ministry of
Roads and Transport, also have
responsibilities for aspects of OSH or
matters that impact on OSH.
DEFICIENCY IN EXISTING
ARRANGEMENTS
The statutes, for which each Ministry is
responsible, have evolved
independently.
This has resulted in the fragmentation
of enforcement efforts, overlapping
areas of responsibility
 differences in approach,
inconsistencies between the laws, and
an absence of overall strategy and coordination
Currently, no Ministry or institution
has either the responsibility or capacity
to develop and implement national
health and safety policy. Similarly, no
Ministry has oversight of all sectors of
the economy.
 Many of the inefficiencies associated
with current arrangement are related to
fragmentation and overlapping
responsibilities, and low levels of
staffing exacerbate these
 legislative provisions have generally not
kept pace with developments in
industry and the informal sector, and
have also lagged behind legislative
developments elsewhere
Shortcoming cont.
 current legislation include outmoded
formulations, limited scope and coverage,
definitions that are too narrow or specific,
inattention to occupational diseases,
unspecified standards and complex legal
procedures
Basis of National Policy
 the elimination or minimisation of hazards
and reduction of risk factors
 effective information systems
 systems for consultation through the triand bi- social dialogue at the state and
enterprise levels respectively
 training of workers
Basis Contd.
 the functions and responsibilities of
agencies responsible for workplace
inspection
 occupational health services
SCOPE OF NATIONAL POLICY
 All Employers
 All Employees
 All Economic Activities
 Designers, manufacturers, importers and
suppliers of industrial machinery,
equipment and substances
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Government’s Role
 Law, policy
 Establishment of Authority
 Development & review of implementation
program
Employers’ Responsibilities
 Creates the workplace
 Ensure design, operation & decommissioning in
manner protective of health of workers & visitors &
general public
 Bear cost of workplace accidents, injuries and disease
 System of risk assessment
 System of health surveillance
 Promote employee wellbeing
 Emergency response plan
 Reporting of OSH incidents
 surveys
 Maintenance of data– incidents, injuries, illness,
INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT
National OSH Authority – implementation of
integrated S & H policy
 Make human resources available across all sectors
 Leadership –
 National Tripartite Advisory Board
 Overall Responsibility - Minister
 CEO -Responsible for OSH Mgt.--- Specific
Functions- Inspectorate, Research, Standards,
Compensation etc
Review of policy
This policy will be reviewed and
revised.
 This should take place once in five
years.
 It may occur earlier if circumstances
warrant an earlier revision.

THANK YOU
FOR YOUR
ATTENTION
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OSH IN GHANA - Bureau Of Public Safety