Ghana: BWI OHS Brigade members push for health and safety law

BWI, in its continuing effort to make workplaces safer in Ghana, held a three-day (3) face-to-face Brigadiers Training on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) last 8-10 November to build the capacity of its trade union affiliates in the country to address health and safety issues. 

A total number of 20 union members from the Timber and Woodworkers Union (TWU), Public Services Workers Union (PSWU), Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU), Construction, Building Material, Workers Union (CBMWU) and General Construction Mining and Quarry Workers Union (GCMQWU) participated in the training. 

The training is a follow up to BWI’s OHS Brigades Online Course. It was facilitated by Teresa Nadia Abugah, Head of the Social Protection and Occupational Safety, Health and Environment of the Trades Union Congress facilitated the physical workshops. It used adult learning techniques, video presentations and group exercises to elicit better participation from the attendees. 

At the end of the training, the participants decided to launch a campaign to push for the passage of the country’s OHS Bill which has been at the drafting stage since 2017. They also called for a review and upgrade of the Workman’s Compensation Act to respond better to new labour realities. 

An awareness drive to call for the creation of OHS committees at workplaces was also discussed, as well as a campaign to join the global call to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to recognise OHS as a fundamental right of all workers. 

BWI’s trade union affiliates explained that while Ghana’s Labour Act has certain OHS provisions, they are not enough. They said that what is needed is for the country to ratify the ILO’s OHS convention and pass a national law on OHS.