Cape Coast, April 28, GNA - Dr Charles Brempong-Yeboah, the Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, has said his ministry would soon introduce workplace HIV/AIDS education programmes to create more awareness about the pandemic among workers. He has asked management of industrial concerns to ensure that their employees who work in "hazardous areas" undergo medical examination once in a year.
Dr Brempong-Yeboah said this on Wednesday when he visited Fruits and Flavours limited, a citrus processing company at Asebu, at the start of a two-day tour of industrial establishments in the Central Region.
He said some factory workers inhale gases that affect their health and it was therefore essential that management attend to their health needs.
Dr Brempong-Yeboah also visited Ameen Sangari Industries, soap manufacturers, and Coastal Groves Ltd, producers of orange syrup and exporters of orange peels.
He told management of the company to provide the workers in the 'syrup' room with respirators to ensure their safety and expressed concern about the inadequate safety measures in all three industries.
''Technical staff in my ministry would follow up on the visit to ensure that all establishments comply with health and safety rules and regulations.''
Mr Letsnam Dzidzoave, the Managing Director of Fruits and Flavours ltd, said the company, which was the leading producer of lime oil in the 1970s with an export capacity of 20,000 tons per annum, is today producing below capacity.
He said the long shut-down of the company, formerly known as L. Rose, from 1987 to 1993, compelled farmers supplying it with oranges to replace the orange trees with other crops, hence the present situation. Mr Dzidzoave expressed the hope that there would be a turn around within three years, since the company had assisted some citrus farmers with improved seeds.
At the Ameen Sangari Industries, the minister was told that it had 300 staff on its payroll and would soon start an expansion programme to increase the workforce to 400.
At Coastal Groves, Mrs Mary Danquah, the Deputy Director of the company, said the company has 400 acres of orange and teak plantations at Assin Nseni and oil palm plantation also at Kruwa with a workforce of 87 in the factory and 67 on the farms.
Dr Brempong-Yeboah said his ministry would soon introduce the Skills Training and Employment Placement (STEP) programme in some establishments to equip some of the workers, especially the casuals with skills.
He urged the management of the company to avail itself of the opportunity to train its casuals.