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Regional News of Friday, 7 December 2018

Source: Daniel Kaku

OSH Association UK-Ghana holds public education on safety in Western Region

OSHAssociation Ghana File photo

The Occupational Safety and Health Association UK-Ghana Region (OSH Association UK-Ghana) has organised a 'Training of Trainers Program' for stakeholders in the Western Region on how to promote safety on roads, workplaces, homes and other areas to save lives.

OSH Association UK is an independent professional association, with international membership and regional chapters worldwide. It is committed to supporting individuals and corporate organizations around the world in achieving Zero fatalities or accidents, at workplaces, on roads among others.

The one-week training was organized in conjunction with the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) to educate stakeholders in the Region on safety especially road safety to save lives before, during and after 2018 Yuletide.

These stakeholders were picked from all the twenty-two (22) Districts in the Region and they included safety managers, transport officers, driver unions, companies, volunteer groups, opinion leaders, security services, organizations, the media among others.

"Improving Road Safety Management System Through Behavioural Road Safety Approach", was the theme chosen for the training.

The training was used to educate road users to obey road safety signs and symbols, key precautions to prevent road accidents.

The programme was under the good leadership and sponsorship of Jubilee Partners such as Tullow Oil, Kosmos Energy, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Anadarko and PetroSA Ghana.

All the participants were given well-recognised international certificates in safety.

Addressing the Media and Driver Unions at Raybow Hotel in Takoradi on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, the Regional President of OSH Association UK-Ghana Region, Engr. Thomas Bismark Boakye highlighted the need to adhere to road traffic regulations to save lives.

He expressed appreciation to the participants for honouring their invitation to support the training, which aimed at raising awareness about passenger and pedestrian safety ahead of the 2018 yuletide and beyond.

Egnr. Boakye advised drivers, motorists and pedestrians to endeavour to be patient when using the road, in order to avoid needless crashes.

He said road accident is a national disaster and can cause loss of lives, vulnerability, loss of properties and livelihoods.

He revealed that in Ghana mostly people aged between 26 and 35 years lose their lives through road accidents.

He added that more than 2000 people lose their lives yearly through road accidents in Ghana.

He said, "Many accidents happen because people don't perceive the risks involved in what they are doing".

"Perception is what causes some people to believe that accidents can never happen to them but could only happen to others", he explained.

"There are more private vehicle crashes compared to commercial ones. It is usually a case of frequency against volume", he added.

He said, "There is a need, therefore, to change this perception and accept the reality that we are all vulnerable".

He urged that drivers shouldn't drive close to trucks when driving on highways and at top speed.

Engr. Boakye revealed "Emotion, anger, sorrowful, anxiety, fear, hate, these some of the behaviours that affect driving and can cause accidents".

He added that 94 per cent of human behaviour causes accidents in Ghana adding that all serious accidents happen just after police checkpoints.

"A safe and efficient road network as part of an integrated transportation system for all road users including pedestrians, cyclists, the disabled, animals among others", he explained.

Ing. Boakye urged the participants to be defensive drivers and added that a defensive driver should be adherent to "all rules and regulations, observe the movement of all vehicles and road users, identify the possible dangers, predict what is likely to happen, anticipate the next line of action, execute the skill of safety, plan your journey, know your vehicle, watch your speed, and anticipate traffic movements."

He educated the participants on the things any driver should check before starting his or her journey and avoid any arrest from the police.

These were some of the things he mentioned - driving license, vehicle documents, brakes, mirrors, lights, windscreen, wipers, indicators, map, horn, exhaust, seat belts, tires, emergency kit, fire extinguisher, warning triangle among others.

He revealed, "It is only a Police Inspector or who is above the rank of an Inspector who can seize a driving license from a driver".

He also educated the participants on the Road Signs and said there were only four Road Signs in the country and these were Warning, Regulatory, Information and Mandatory Signs.

He pleaded with the media in the Region to use their platforms to create awareness about road accident and save lives.

He, therefore, urged the media to report accurately on road accidents in the Region.

He also called on the Driver Unions in the area to advise their drivers to educate themselves on road safety.

Engr. Boakye thanked the Jubilee Partners for sponsoring this training and pleaded with them to support them periodically in road safety training and others.

Mrs. Ohene Gyan who represented the Jubilee Partners thanked OSH Association UK-Ghana and National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) for organizing such an important training in the Region to save lives.

She said the training had become necessary as part of Jubilee Partners' intention to ensure that people in the Region are saved from road accidents and live longer.

She said the country is losing so many lives in road accident and therefore advised the participants to educate others on the need for road safety.

She, therefore, pledged to support the OSHAssociation and National Road Safety Commission to train people in road safety and other safety precautions.

Mr. Paul Kyerementeng, an accident victim who had an accident on Takoradi-Cape Coast road in 2015 gave an account of what happened to him.

He advised road users should be very careful on the road and also advised his colleague drivers should stop over-speeding, over-taking, over-loading and drunk driving.

The training gave an opportunity to over seven hundred (700) participants to express their happiness about it and some were given the opportunity to contribute and ask questions.