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19 May 2014 | Business & Finance

Contractors Want Health Law Reviewed

Daily Guide
Rockson Dogbegah
Rockson Dogbegah

Rockson Dogbegah
Contractors are seeking an amendment of the Factories, Offices and Shop Act of 1970 (328) to cover the construction sector.

The Factories, Offices and Shops Act is supposed to ensure workplace safety.

However, the law does not cover the construction sector.

In order to change the law and make it relevant, the Ghana Contractors Association Council (GCAC), with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, has embarked on a campaign that would lead to an amendment to the law.

At a sensitization workshop, a consultant, Ayisi Addo, said the existing Act that regulates occupational health and safety needs to be amended to make it relevant.

He mentioned the lack of clarity, limited scope of the Act and outdated penalties as some of the shortfalls.

Another consultant and former Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Tawia Akyea said the name of the Act must be changed.

He said regulations enforcing health and safety are fragmented making enforcement difficult.

He called for a comprehensive law that covers every sector.

The Chairman of the Ghana Contractors Association Council, Rockson Dogbegah, commended the consultants for their work, and said the Council was going to engage with stakeholders to ensure the amendment of the current Act.

He said occupational health and safety was very important and required an appropriate law to regulate it.

Mr. Dogbegah said the absence of a policy or law to support its inclusion in the costing of projects is problematic.

He noted that occupational health and safety has assumed such importance globally that Ghana needs to act quickly to put in place a comprehensive law in line with current trends.

He also urged government to ratify the International Labour Organisation Convention on Occupational Health and Safety.

Dr. Stephen Lomotey of the Factories Inspectorate Department commended the contractors.

He said plans were underway to review the law and therefore urged GCAC to act quickly so that their inputs would be captured in the review process.

By Samuel Boadi