The Head of Department, Occupational Health and Safety at the Accra School of Hygiene, Korle-Bu, Mr Isaac K. Agbenyezi, has urged policy makers to consider workplace health and safety as one of the direct critical determinants of the health of the productive population and allocate resources for its proper management.
According to him, health in its conceptualisation was critical in national development hence the need to pay much attention to strengthen the sector.
Mr Agbenyezi disclosed this during the Accra School of Hygiene’s 18th School Representative Council Hygiene Week celebration in Accra yesterday.
It was on the theme: Redefining health for national development: The take of an occupational health and safety expert.
MrAgbenyezi said the development of every nation had critical pillars and key, among them was productivity adding “A healthy workforce is a productive workforce and there is a direct positive relationship between health and development.
He said, the better way to think of occupational health was an investment, which would pay off in worker health and fitness, lower costs for medical care, improve productivity and social wellbeing.
“ILO (2022) maintains that on-the-job accidents and illnesses annually take some two million lives and cost the global economy an estimated $1.25 trillion ($1,250,000 million US dollars),” he added.
He indicated that the health and safety at the workplace must be a critical factor which shouldn’t be omitted from the determinants of health in any thorough health analysis saying it is rather intriguing to note that nationally, there is a dearth of information on the cost of workplace accidents and illnesses on the national economy, though workplace health and safety is a Fundamental Human Right captured in Article 24 of the 1992 Constitution, and in Sections 118 and 119 of the Labour Act, Act 651 (2003).”
Mr Agbenyezi said one of the major hidden contributing factors to the economic downturn of the nation was the inability of the nation to develop the various effectively functional structures that would take into consideration the welfare of the workforce of the nation.