- April 8, 2017
- Posted by: Sage Shield Safety Consultants
- Category: Global Safety News
Sierra Leone News: Workplace health and safety a concern
Sierra Leone has a workplace safety law, known as the Factories Act 1974, but very little has been done to address the issue of health and safety in the workplace. Accidents happen all the time; men fall from scaffolding; miners drown in run-off waters; carpenters lose fingers; cars fall on mechanics. Occupational safety is a concern.
The Sierra Leone Institution of Geoscientists (SLIG) met at the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources to discuss occupational safety and health. In his presentation, Safety Specialist, James C. Lamina said, “We have had a safety law since the colonial days but even though there are provisions in our safety law for people to register their industries and report accidents, that law is not being implemented. One hardly ever sees factory inspectors around”.
He defines occupational safety as what one does to prevent accidents at work.
Accidents are usually a result of hazardous conditions. But, identifying, evaluating and using control measures can help reduce accidents.
Lamina said, “Failure to take precautions can result in injuries which will impact earnings and home life. It will also cost the enterprise money. Accidents are costly. I want you to remember that safety is every body’s responsibility”, he stressed.
He suggested that SLIG work with law makers to ensure that the Factories Act be reviewed and updated.
Dr. Kelvin Anderson, Lecturer in the Department of Geology at Fourah Bay College said the importance of health and safety in the environment cannot be underestimated. “Businesses want to make a profit so there is a tendency for people to neglect the health and safety side in the interest of profits.”.
People in the mining and exploration company normally work in remote areas far from health facilities. Dr. Anderson added, “It is our job to make sure that they as well as their employers are safe”.
He said the policy on occupational safety was archaic. He suggested SLIG review the law and make suggestions for improvement.
Salim Sillah, Chief Geologist AMR Gold suggested, “The government department responsible for occupational safety should be going to industries looking at existing health and safety procedures.
By Edna Smalle
Tuesday April 04, 2017.