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 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.
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IOSH has chosen the Middle East as the launch-pad for this new strategy because of the regions growth and increasing drive to cut workplace accidents and work-related illness, said a statement from the organisation. It comes after a recent survey commissioned by the institution, which revealed that business leaders across the region are identifying worker protection against injury and ill health as vital to safeguarding their business' reputation and resilience and improving productivity. Meanwhile the number of members of IOSHs Qatar Branch has increased from 86 to nearly 500 in the five years since it was launched. These Paediatric First Aid Training members work across a range of industries to keep the number of people injured at work or becoming ill to a minimum. Robert Murphy, chair of IOSHs Qatar Branch, said: It is clear there is a real determination in Qatar and the wider Middle East to prevent employees from being harmed. Businesses are recognising the benefits that good health and safety bring to them, including having more motivated workers. Major organisations in Qatar are also working hard not only to promote better health and safety at work but to improve standards of living away from the workplace as well. Our branch and IOSH as a whole is determined that we keep this trend going, he said. The IOSH-commissioned survey, conducted late last year and questioning 250 decision-makers across the Middle East, revealed that 91 per cent believe investing in the health and safety of their workforce is essential to ensuring their business has a good reputation, 85 per cent felt that their employees' health and safety is a top priority at board level, and 88 per cent feel that all employees have a responsibility for health and safety. The strategy will be introduced by Dr Bill Gunnyeon, chair of IOSHs board of trustees, said a statement. Meanwhile IOSH Training and Skills, lead sponsor of the conference, will announce details of new additions to its portfolio of world-leading health and safety training products, including the first Arabic-language versions of their courses. There will also be speeches from Ali Sikandar, head of digital and social media at Qatar Foundation; Ajay Sharma, British Ambassador to Qatar; and Joseph E LaBaron, the retired US Ambassador to Qatar; Paul Williams from Qatar Rail; James Quinn from Multiplex Middle East; and Musallam Al Khaifi, from Electricity Holding Company.