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GHISCON2019: CLIMATE CHANGE AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

BACKGROUND
The planet's average surface temperature is estimated to have risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Workers in many occupational and industrial categories already experience climate- and weather-related hazards in their jobs. The increasing frequency, duration, and severity of extreme weather events and other developments caused by climate change will exacerbate these hazards and affect a broad range of workers in term their safety at work. Increased temperature, extremes of precipitation, increased air pollution, the spread of vector-borne disease, and other health threats due to climate change will impact many groups of workers.

Climate change therefore, has increased the risk to workers’ health and safety. Workers, especially those who work outdoors or in hot indoor environments, are at increased risk of heat stress and other heat-related disorders, occupational injuries, and reduced productivity at work.


In a framework for identifying how climate change could affect the workplace, Paul A. Schulte and Heekyoung Chung, based on a review of some published scientific literature from 1988–2008 that includes climatic effects, their interaction with occupational hazards, and their manifestation in the working population, seven categories of climate-related hazards were identified as; (1) increased ambient temperature, (2) air pollution, (3) ultraviolet exposure, (4) extreme weather, (5) vector-borne diseases and expanded habitats, (6) industrial transitions and emerging industries; and (7) changes in the built environment.


The Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce & INDUSTRY (STCCI, a Business Association with a number of functions and services all seeking to promote business growth in Ghana, intends to facilitate the creation of a world-class corporate safety system and culture in Ghana and in quest to contribute to the achievement of the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 13 (Climate Action), been holding an Annual International Safety Conference dubbed “Ghana Industry Safety Conference” (GHISCON) since 2015.


The aim of this conference is to;
• Examine the impact of Climate Change on Occupational Health and Safety, and advance strategies for reducing its impact on the safety and health of workers.
• Encourage all stakeholders concerned, to immediately start integrating the climate change impacts that are already perceptible, or that can be anticipated, in their occupational risk assessment approaches
• Promote awareness of the effects of climate change on Workplace Safety, through information sharing and training


A strong focus on regulatory reforms, legislation and compliance will feature throughout
this year’s conference as climate- and weather-related hazards at the workplace keep
increasing.


DATE AND VENUE
The two-day conference will take place from 25th to 26th September 2019.
The conference will be held at the Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi.


REGISTRATION FOR ATTENDEES
Registration for participation is open and can be done online:
www.ghanasafetyconference.org


TRADE SHOW BOOTHS
The Conference will feature a number of trade show booths allowing companies to showcase their work processes, products, services etc. Please contact us if you are interested.


EVENT ORGANISER
The Ghana Industries Safety Conference – GHISCON is organised annually by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (STCCI). STCCI is the leading private-sector Association in the Western Region of Ghana (visit
www.sekonditakoradichamber.org for further details).


STCCI has over 950 members from the private-sector with about 90% of them from the Western Region with the remaining 10% from the other nine regions of Ghana. Member firms of the chamber is drawn various sectors of the National Economy i.e. Mining, Oil & Gas, Construction, Telecommunication, Hospitality, Real Estate, Manufacturing,
Fabrication, Agri-Business, Transport & Logistics, Banking, Insurance etc.

PARTNERS
Ministry of Employment & Labour Relations: The Ministry of Employment & Labour Relation is the responsible Ministry for issues relating to labour in general and workplace safety. Given the importance of workplace safety to this Ministry, the Ministry in 2017 officially adopted the Conference and became a partner. The Ministry subsequently proposed the change of the name of the Conference from the Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference (GEISCon) to Ghana Industry Safety Conference (GHISCON) 

International Labour Organisation (ILO): In 2001, the International Labor Organization published ILO-OSH 2001, also titled "Guidelines on occupational safety and health management systems" to assist organizations with introducing OSH management systems. These guidelines encourage continual improvement in employee health and safety, achieved via a constant process of policy, organization, planning & implementation, evaluation, and action for improvement, all supported by constant auditing to determine the success of OSH actions. As the UN organization responsible for providing guidance and guidelines for occupational Health and Safety, ILO is partnering
STCCI in this event.


Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited The Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited has been a partner of this annual conference since 2016 as the lead Sponsor. Their partnership stems from their background as the largest bank in the Caribbean Region and the largest Financial partner of the Energy Sector of Trinidad & Tobago. Hence their deep understanding of Extractive sector leading to their willingness to partner local business support organisations such as STCCI to develop local capacities in the extractive sector.

Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (HKH) The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (HKH) and the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (STCCI) have a partnership agreement that seeks to help STCCI develop technical capacity to deliver its functions in an efficient manner.

The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and STCCI, have concluded a chamber partnership project with the objective of improving the organization and services offered by STCCI. With the Phase I of the Project running between 2015 and 2018, we are currently in the phase II of the project which is expect to end in August 2021. The project is embedded in the Partnership Program for Chambers and Business Associations, which is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and managed by sequa gGmbH. https://www.hk24.de/en


Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago: STCCI is being supported technically in the organisation of the event by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago, under the auspices of a memorandum of understanding signed in January 2013. The Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago organises a very well respect annual Energy Conference
(held since 1988) – further details are at www.ttenergyconference.org. The Energy Chamber is providing advice and support to STCCI in the planning and execution of the conference.

Houston Area Safety Council (HASC) The Houston Area Safety Safety Council (HASC) partners STCCI in its quest to develop and promote the Occupational Health & Safety culture of STCCI member firms by sharing its online EHS learning and assessment platform with STCCI. It also provides other technical support and speakership to GEISCon. www.hasc.com

HYBRID DGM Ghana Ltd: Hybrid DGM is an organization devoted to packing, storage and transport, consulting and professional training in the field of moving dangerous goods and operating in accordance with the global safety standards: The rules and regulations of IATA/ICAO – IMO – ADR – RID, for the safe handling and transport of hazardous goods. DGM’s roots are in oil and gas operations providing advice on the transportation of commercial explosive and the interpretations of international rules and regulations (IATA versus ADR, and versus local rules, laws and government decrees, etc.) www.dgmghana.com


Given the expertise of Hybrid DGM in the area of dangerous goods management, Hybrid DSGM and STCCI have partnered to organise GHISCON 2019.


STCCI, a Business Association with a number of functions and services all seeking to promote business growth in Ghana, intends to facilitate the creation of a world-class corporate safety system and culture in Ghana. The Association has, therefore, been holding an annual safety conference dubbed “Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference” (GEISCon) now Ghana Industry Safety Conference since 2015. 2018 Conference came off as special edition, as the 2017 edition had the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah proposing a change of name and focus of the Conference from the Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference (GEISCon) to Ghana Industry Safety Conference (GISCon). This was to allow for the broadening of the scope of the Conference to cover beyond the extractive sectors.