The 2017 edition of the Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference, organized by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce & Industry has come to an end.
The two-day event which was held from 6th – 7th September, took place at the plush Best Western Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi.
The Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference (GEISCon) has been held annually since 2015 to provide a platform for networking between policy makers, global experts, industry players, local SMEs and stakeholders in the extractive industry to address Occupational Safety and Health in Ghana.
In attendance at this year’s GEISCon was the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations – Hon. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Western Regional Minister – Hon. Dr. Kweku Afriyie, Chairman of the STCCI – Mr. Ato Van-Ess, a representative from International Labour Organization – Mr. Emmanuel Julien, Representatives from the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organization, experts in the extractive industry and many other dignitaries.
This year’s Conference with its theme: Emergency Response and Disaster Management in the Corporate Environment was packed with presentations and panel discussions from policy makers and industry players who identified challenges and problems in Ghana’s occupational safety and health system when responding to emergencies and managing disasters. Solutions were also proffered.
In an interview with the Chairman of the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce – Mr. Ato Van-Ess, he said the lack of a safety culture in Ghana has been the cause of most of the accidents and disasters that has befallen the nation.
He noted that, the strict adherence of safety precautions by the members of the extractive industry is worthy of emulation, hence the organization of the conference:
“We are trying to re-enforce the little that is done in the extractive industry… the extractive industry is paying particular attention to safety and we realized we can tap into their effort, and eventually extend it to other sectors of the economy”, Mr. Van-Ess explained.
The CEO of K360 Health, Safety & Securities – Mr. Victor Kim in a presentation about First Aid at the work place, advocated the need for safety consciousness and First Aid knowledge.
Speaking with Mr. Kim in an interview, he pointed out the lack of ambulance in several hospitals as a critical area which needs urgent focus:
“Attention must be paid by the government and stake holders, especially in providing ambulances in order to facilitate effective and efficient emergency response during the transporting of casualties.”
Mr. Kim added that health and safety is a collective effort, and must be embraced by all and sundry.
Concerning the role the Ghana Police Service plays during emergencies such as a fire incident, District Commander for Sekondi, ASP Emmanuel Tetteh said, with the Police’s primary mandate of protecting lives and property, in the event of them being “first respondents, the scene is protected and the appropriate agency called upon, hence the need for inter-agency co-ordination.”
The 2017 edition of the Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference concluded with a Local Content Awards Dinner to recognize and applaud the efforts and contributions of various stakeholders who in diverse ways made the conference a success.
Amongst the organizations awarded were Beach 105.5 FM and Spice 91.9 FM in recognition of their contribution.
This year’s thoroughly engaging Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference, organized by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry provided opportunities to network, rub minds and learn new and innovative approaches to tackle Occupational Safety and Health in Ghana.
According to the chairman of the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber & Commerce Industry, Mr. Ato Van-Ess, next year’s event will see even much more improvement.