Tema Port Fire & Safety Manager urges staff and stakeholders to embrace safety culture

Port Fire and Safety Manager, Edward Heyman

The Tema Port Fire and Safety Manager, Edward Heyman, has touted GPHA’s proactive efforts in fostering a culture of safety, expressing confidence for continued safe operations at Ghana’s seaports.

This he said has been made possible by the various interventions set in place by management, with help from external stakeholders over the years.

Mr. Heyman said in keeping with requirements of standards GPHA has signed unto, such as OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001, which border on occupational health and safety, the organization ensures that rules and regulations for port users and workers conform with these international standards of operations. This includes appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment, and enforcement of prohibitions at operational zones.

He praised the Authority’s 24-hour emergency response systems and the procedures in place to report and respond to accidents, incidents and near-misses which allow for proper investigation, remedial measures and preventive interventions in the future.

The Port Fire and Safety Manager described the current status-quo as a vast improvement over what existed some years back.

“The port has come a long way and there are great success stories we can count today. Those who have joined the port today may not appreciate how far we have come. Previously, accidents and serious injuries were quite common with a few resulting in deaths but today it is difficult because there are clear distinctions where employees and customers are not allowed at some operational areas. Operators have also been well educated on how to conduct themselves when visitors are around,” he detailed.

Mr. Heyman was speaking as a panellist on the Eye on Port TV program on the topic GPHA’s Occupational Health, Safety & Environment Policies: The Role of Staff & Stakeholders.

The panel discussion came days after a week-long sensitization exercise for GPHA’s Occupational Health, Safety and Environment policy and procedures in Tema and Takoradi. The road show was to enhance the awareness and understanding of Health, Safety and Environmental practices among staff and stakeholders. This is expected to yield long term benefits in terms of employee well-being, reduced accidents and increased overall safety compliance and environmental consciousness within the port environment.

Snapshot of GPHA’s OHSE roadshow

He commended GPHA’s initiative in signing on to the International Organisation for Standardization which he said has elevated the Port Authority’s safety consciousness a notch higher.

He said despite fire incidents being a rarity in the port environment his outfit does not rest on its oars, but instead continuously engage in drills and exercise to freshen their knowledge and skills ahead of any incidents.

The seasoned fireman applauded the Director General, Director of Ports and various members of top management managers for the seriousness they have attached to the Occupational Health, Safety and Environment campaign saying that their frontline posture provides excellent leadership for the port community.

In turn, he urged staff and port users to comply with safety protocols as they assimilate into the Authority safety culture.

According to Mr. Heyman, the acquisition of body-worn cameras will increase surveillance efforts. This means that monitoring will increase and those who disregard safety procedures will will be called to book.

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