Speaking at a stakeholder orientation workshop on OH&S in Accra, Ms Andoh said COTVET as a co-ordinator of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) activities in Ghana, and also an employer, valued the health and safety of all employees, students and other individuals in the TVET sector. She explained that as a result, COTVET had adopted a policy to promote the health and safety of these categories of people. "This is done through promoting a learning and workplace culture where students and employees are supported and encouraged to adhere to health and safety practices," she said. The workshop was organised for participants to validate the OH&S manual, since it would serve as a guide for promoting and institutionalising OH&S practices in TVET institutions and workplaces. Ms Andoh said the Council worked in partnership with employees, students and their representatives to develop and implement measures to eliminate and minimise the risk of injury and illness. She said it was observed that the poorest, least protected, least informed and least trained workers face the highest risks in terms of work-related accidents and illnesses. "The most vulnerable people including students, women, children, persons with disabilities among others are sadly more prone to becoming victims," Ms Andoh said. "It is interesting to know that these victims and their families face extreme poverty, in addition to the physical and psychological consequences. "The fact is that on-the-job accidents dont just happen they are caused and causes can be addressed, and the suffering can be also be prevented," she added. Ms Andoh noted that fortunately, in a growing number of learning environment, workplaces, employees and employers were demonstrating through co-operation and dialogue that it was possible to create safer, healthier workplaces and, at the same time, to improve productivity and organisational performance. She said workers were required to perform their daily task in a safe manner that was compliant with the OH&S manual and the safety trainings received within their various learning environment.
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Twenty-four hours of classroom training is required for new miners no exceptions, Kelhart says. Although it exceeds what is required, they do a minimum of 16 hours and up to six weeks with a mentor before anyone is allowed on their own in the field. No one is released until the mentor is comfortable that the employee is confident in the job, whether it is a loader operator or someone in charge of welding. Embracing technology for communication has helped LafargeHolcim be safer and smarter, says Alex Hall, U.S. head of health and safety for aggregate construction materials . We have developed apps to take into the field that have a variety of interactions. The SHIELD app, developed in-house, allows employees to perform work in the field, highlight what work has been done, and where it First Aid Training has been done. We can decide whether something requires an action, Hall says. The more interaction we have, the better effect we will have on reducing the incidents. Marty Tubbs, director of safety and health for Rogers Group, Inc., says continuous communication to employees is also important. To create constant awareness, near miss and other incident information is distributed through the company in an effort to prevent the same occurrence. This information is also archived on an internal website for review or to use as reminders in safety meetings, Tubbs says. We are adamant about constantly reinforcing our commitment to achieving a Zero Injury safety culture without compromise by implementing all our safety principles. Effective Water Management OUR EXPERTS Anne Kelhart, director of safety and human resources for Martin Stone Quarries, has been with the company for more than 28 years. She is a certified mine professional, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association Health and Safety Committee past chair and Pennsylvania Aggregate and Concrete Association Health and Safety Committee current chair.