Integrate climate change impacts in occupational risk assessment approaches

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Takoradi, Sept. 26, GNA – The 2019 Ghana Industry Safety Conference (GHISCO) has opened in Takoradi to engage industry players on issues of safety and occupational health as well as climate change.
The Conference, organised by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (STCCI) is on the theme ‘Climate change and occupational health and safety’.
It would create a platform to broaden the scope of safety in industry, examine the impact of climate change on occupational health and safety and advance strategies for reducing its impact on the safety and health of workers and environmental protection.
Dr. Toni Aubynn, the Convenor of the conference encouraged all stakeholders to integrate climate change impacts that existed or could be anticipated in their occupational risk assessment approaches.
He said the increasing frequency, duration and severity of extreme whether events with associated hazards called for increased awareness of the effects of climate change on workplace safety, through information sharing and training.
The GHISCON is expected to advocate a strong focus on regulatory reforms, legislation and compliance regimes.
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the International Labour Organisation (ILO),Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (HKH),Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, Houston Area Safety Council (HSC), BAJ Freight, Hybrid DGM Ghana Limited are some presenters and dignitaries in this year’s conference.
Dr Aubynn, described the conference as significant and key to discussing the UN General Assembly climate change issues.
On recent happenings within the United States of America and the Bahamas, he encouraged the participants to rethink climate change and identify efforts to reduce its effects on human beings.
The Chairman of STCCI, Ato Van- Ess, noted that a number of activities undertaken by industry and the citizenry had significant negative impact on the welfare of workers and the environment.
He mentioned that Africa, and Ghana seemed too unprepared for such climate issues and the adaptation of mitigating actions to reduce disasters.
Mr Van- Ess said the increasing coastal flooding and rising sea levels were enough indications of climatic activities and advocated a collective responsibility on the part of industry to check such natural disasters.
He said the advanced economies have increased their consideration of climate change and working on reducing its effect and its impact and Africa and Ghana could not run from the issues.
He expressed concerned about climate change and vulnerability  of farmers, masons , the Navy and Airforce who were exposed to pollution and poor air quality, high temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions.
The Chairman believed that the conference would discuss and share knowledge, reach a consensus and fashion out a framework to combat the effects of climate change for the government to act on.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah told the participants that climate change was key to national development, adding that “we need to make the right choice and invest in climate change management.”
Mr Joe Ghartey, the Minister for Railway said effective rail transportation had the potential to reduce pollution that contributed to climate change and global warming.

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