The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) has inaugurated a students’ volunteer group to assist the university in disaster and emergency management. A total of 70 students came together to form the group and will be engaging in the University community henceforth. The inauguration, which was done by the Vice-Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, formed part of activities to commemorate the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
“Act together to build positive safety and health culture” was the theme chosen for this year’s celebration. Prof Amankwah said,
“this Disaster and Emergency Management hub was formed as one of the arms of the University’s Institutional Advancement and we are happy about the things that they have done so far.”
He added that “indeed, in the next few weeks, we are going to start having programmes on Dynamite FM and Mining City Radio about safety. We will extend the safety lessons to people in their homes, garages, sewing centres and other groups in Tarkwa”.
The objective of the hub was to manage issues of occupational health and safety on campus and sensitise the public on health and safety to ensure the well-being of all at their respective workplaces.
Mr Joe-Steve Annan, Senior Manager for Occupational Health and Safety, Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, indicated that “because we don’t pay attention to the very little things at our workplaces, we tend to suffer in the end.
He stated that “some big institutions now analyse near misses and put in place the necessary controls to ensure they do not record injuries at the workplace.
“Also, some organizations think health and safety knowledge and implementation is just for our workforce, but no and l like this community involvement, because without training the people in the community in which you operate to understand the impact from the exposures of your operations is not the best,” he added.
Mr Annan pointed out that there were controls associated with every job and that employees need to understand and work consistently with such controls. An emergency simulation exercise of a vehicle on fire was held at the Bogoso junction on the Tarkwa-Bogoso highway to create awareness, and enhance the preparedness and response plans of the various stakeholders.
Chief Superintendent George Andrew Kumah, Tarkwa Divisional Police Commander lauded the management of UMaT for this initiative and Gold Fields Ghana for sponsoring. He appealed to other organizations in Tarkwa-Nusaem Municipality to come on board to provide such programmes often to avoid what happened at Appiatse.
Report by: Adepa Basit, KNUST OBUASI