Safety and Health Practices at Tema Steel Works
There have been accidents among workers, which happened in the Tema Steel Works Company in Ghana, and these issues caught the attention of different groups of people in the society. In view thereof, a lot of debates are going around the globe, if the steel company has its company regulation for safety policy of its workers. Apparently, Tema Steel Works Company does not have a comprehensive health, safety and environment policy that will protect its workers from any human rights violations. Most industries in Ghana do not adhere with the industry’s standards and guidelines for effective operations of every plant or factory. What Ghana has now is the expired legislations and regulations for Environmental Protection Agency Ordinance 490, Mining Regulations Act 1970 Ll 665, Factories, Offices and Shops, Act Ll328. However, all of these laws can no longer impose. Perhaps, due to lack of financial resources, so the agencies do not perform their duties well. This is the main reason that there are numerous reports of violations of the rights of large numbers of workers in the country. Many reports revealed the different cases of deaths of some employees and their families. A lot of children became orphans, because their parents never returned home, and no one knows of their where about now. Many untold sufferings of workers and employees while in their work places. Allegedly, many workers have lost their lives, hands and other parts of their bodies. Relatively, various accident s happened to the workers in Tema caught the attention of other group of individuals across the world. He was a Fire Service Officer who fell to the ground and died in the Cedi House in 2010. And, reportedly, last April this year, the most recent accident was a worker who died in the hot steel; which he carried at the Tema Steel Company. However, all these accidents among others never reported to the authority. Similarly, there were no safety and preventive measures created, in order to avoid those accidents to happen again. It just like a cycle, but no one cares about the plight of these poor Tema Steel Company’s workers. (http://www.businessguideghana.com/?p=3481)
The unjust treatment with the workers must be given appropriate action by Ghana government. Steel companies among others must implement a national health and safety policy measures that will protect the workers in different plants in Ghana. It is well recommended to Ghana government to allow implementation of an independent body that will mandate for the strict compliance of HSE standards, to regulate and reinforce the operational law to all business sectors in Ghana. Today, there is a significant increase in the number of SME’s and multinational companies that operate in Ghana. In spite of this industrial development, the country still, does not have national agency or empowering body to mandate the process and procedures, policies, guidelines that will oversee the working health and safety condition of larger number of workers and employees in the country. Subsequently, accidents, violations of human rights and poor health conditions of the workers are prevalent in most of the industries in Ghana. Nevertheless, the stakeholders do not even give any damn on what is going on to their employees. After all, they have all the obligations to provide moral, legal and business concerns all their workers, most especially on their health safety and environment practice inside the companies. In comparison, those countries that have successful HSE records are those companies that have showed strong compliance and commitment to regulatory policies and practices in accordance with the labor law.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare told reporters that they will mediate in the issues regarding the deteriorating conditions of the workers at the Tema Steel Company. Still, many employees are worried that they could no longer get their salaries once the company will be ordered for closure. The workers union body expressed their sentiments to Minister E. T. Mensah, after reviewing the reports of the workers union, the minister decided to give an ultimatum to the owner of the steel company. He is giving Tema Steel Company until this month to settle all issues regarding safety labor, as well as to upgrade the company’s working environment conditions based on business acceptable standards. If, the company failed to comply with the order, the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare will be forced to give order for permanent closure of the steel plant. With all these in mind, the Tema Steel’s workers are being hopeful, and they are really looking forward to the materialization of the company’s upgrading on their safety and health practices.