Phyllis Andoh, the Administrative Manager, COTVET, said globally, it was estimated that work-related accidents and illnesses led to about two million fatalities per year. She said while this was disturbing, it was likely that many occupational deaths and injuries were not reported. Speaking at a stakeholder orientation workshop on OH&S in Accra, Ms Andoh said COTVET as a co-ordinator of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) activities in Ghana, and also Paediatric First Aid Training an employer, valued the health and safety of all employees, students and other individuals in the TVET sector. She explained that as a result, COTVET had adopted a policy to promote the health and safety of these categories of people. "This is done through promoting a learning and workplace culture where students and employees are supported and encouraged to adhere to health and safety practices," she said. The workshop was organised for participants to validate the OH&S manual, since it would serve as a guide for promoting and institutionalising OH&S practices in TVET institutions and workplaces. Ms Andoh said the Council worked in partnership with employees, students and their representatives to develop and implement measures to eliminate and minimise the risk of injury and illness. She said it was observed that the poorest, least protected, least informed and least trained workers face the highest risks in terms of work-related accidents and illnesses. "The most vulnerable people including students, women, children, persons with disabilities among others are sadly more prone to becoming victims," Ms Andoh said. "It is interesting to know that these victims and their families face extreme poverty, in addition to the physical and psychological consequences. "The fact is that on-the-job accidents dont just happen they are caused and causes can be addressed, and the suffering can be also be prevented," she added. Ms Andoh noted that fortunately, in a growing number of learning environment, workplaces, employees and employers were demonstrating through co-operation and dialogue that it was possible to create safer, healthier workplaces and, at the same time, to improve productivity and organisational performance. She said workers were required to perform their daily task in a safe manner that was compliant with the OH&S manual and the safety trainings received within their various learning environment.
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