GPHA keen on optimizing staff health for increased productivity- Dr. Anaab-Bisi

Chairman, GPHA’s OHSE committee, Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority recognizes its wealth, strength and future lie in the health and safety of its staff and stakeholders as well as the general sustainability of the environment. The organization therefore prioritizes the provision of a safe working environment for all its employees and port users. In addition to free medical care to employees and provision of personal protective equipment, the Authority embarks on continuous education and sensitization of staff and stakeholders to instil a sense of personal responsibility for their health.

Last week, the Ports of Tema and Takoradi witnessed one of such vigorous awareness campaigns intended to help employees and stakeholders appreciate the Occupational Health and Environment policies and procedures of the Port Authority.

The Chairman of the Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Committee (OHSE) of GPHA, Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi intimated that the cardinal objective for the promotion of an organizational culture that prioritizes health, safety and environment, is to optimize the synergies between port workers, clients and their working environment for increased productivity.

Snapshot of GPHA’s OHSE roadshow

He was speaking live on the niche Eye on Port program on Accra-based Metro TV following the roadshow that span four days at the Ports of Tema and Takoradi.

Dr. Anaab-Bisi said GPHA has a rigorous regime on how incidents, accidents and near-misses within the port environment is handled and top management does not relent on its pledge to provide enough budgetary allocation for health and safety.

In addition to this, management has ensured that adequate personal protective equipment is provided at all the operational sections of the port so that all categories of staff “come to work assured they will have enough protective equipment to use and go back safely”.

The authority has also provided enough handbooks that spell out safety procedures for stakeholders and clients of the port to follow.

However, the chairman of the OHSE committee admits that without punitive measures the desired impact of the various health and safety protocols may not be felt. That is why in the newly revised OHSE document includes sanctions that will be meted on defaulters. These laws according to Dr. Anaab-Bisi will be enforced to the letter.

Dr. Anaab who is also the General Manager in Charge of Health Services, GPHA, Tema says the Authority’s no tolerance for drug and alcohol abuse will be enforced strictly.

“Our CBA does not tolerate drug use especially illicit drugs and alcohol. Management has bought breathalysers for supervisors and line managers so that randomly we can check.  We added multiple drug test (MDT) so if you’re coming for employment at GPHA, as part of your medical exam you will be tested for drugs. We can test for up to about 18 different drugs and if you are found to be having a problem with any, we’ll give our report to the human resource department and they will know what to do, so we don’t encourage it at all” he said.

He explained that drug and alcohol use impair judgement and can lead to accidents at the workplace in addition to poor health for the user.

Dr. Anaab-Bisi intimated that port workers play a vital role in the economy of the state and must conduct their duties diligently with that in mind. He said while the authority is generous with its money so far as the health of staff is concerned, staff must take personal responsibility in keeping healthy.

He praised top management including Directors of Port and the Director General for their immense support they have given to the OHSE committee and all their initiatives to promote health, safety, and environmental sustainability at the ports of Ghana.

The Chairman of the OHSE committee expressed satisfaction at the attitude of staff and stakeholders during the road show, appealing to them to keep up the momentum in the years ahead.

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