Issuance of Registration Certificate
The department is responsible for the issuing of a yearly certificate by ACT 328 OF 1970, is undeniable that managing Health & Safety in the workplace is not only a legal requirement; it is also the morally correct thing to do. Structuring your Health and Safety management system around an accepted standard and achieving Health & Safety Certification not only makes sense, it gives an organization the opportunity to prove to regulators, customers and employees alike that health and safety is recognized for its importance.
How to obtain a certificate
Any persons who intend to occupy or use any premises as a factory shall apply for the registration of the premises by:
Purchasing and filling a form from the regional offices of the Department
A technical pre registration inspection will be conducted to ascertain compliance with factories office and shop ACT and certification process initiated, upon satisfaction and payment of fees an annual certificate is issued to the occupier.
Renewal of certificate of registration
The provisions of this part which relate to the issue of a certificate of registration shall apply to any application for the renewal of certificate of registration.
Why is certification important to the occupier?
Occupational health, safety and welfare Certification promote a safe and healthy working environment by providing a framework that helps organizations to:
- Identify and control health and safety risks
- Reduce the potential for accidents
- Aid legal compliance
- Improve overall performance
- Health & Safety Certification
- Reduction in absence
- Continuous improvement
- Greater control over processes and internal systems
- Reducing the hidden costs of workplace accidents and incident
- Industry best practice
- Happier staff and contractors and customers
Demonstrates your commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment
The Department Of Factories Inspectorate is mandated by act 328 of 1970 to conduct a technical safety, health and welfare inspection regularly of all premises within its jurisdiction to ascertain compliance of the law.
Periodic inspections are regular, planned inspections of the critical components of equipment or systems that have a high potential for causing serious injury or illness. The inspections are often part of preventive maintenance procedures or hazard control programs.
How is periodic inspection conducted?
- During an on-site occupational health safety and welfare inspection, factory inspectors’ first research the workplace that they will visit. They will look over previous site inspections, taking note of any specific areas of concern, industry operations, and various compliances that may apply to the workplace.
- After this important preparation, the inspectors will know what types of personal protective equipment will be necessary, if any, along with testing equipment.
- When arriving at the on-site inspection, the factory inspectors will display their credentials to the employer and explain why the inspection is taking place and the scope of the entire inspection.
- After the scope of the inspection is explained, the inspector, with the employer and employee representatives, performs a walk-through of the workplace. It is at this stage in the process that potential hazards will be inspected.
Types of technical inspections
The department conducts four basic types of safety health and welfare inspections
Pre registration inspections
This is the initial technical safety, health and welfare inspection conducted to evaluate whether a premises is complying with the regulations under the ACT and therefore fit for certification
Routine technical inspections
This is carried out to ensure the premises and machinery is well maintained and to check if there are any hazards. It is often done regularly
Check visit inspections
This is conducted after an initial inspection has been conducted and a recommendation issue to the occupier to remedy a risk, an inspector does a follow up to check if the recommendations in the report have been corrected.
Requested technical inspections
This is a technical inspections requested by the occupier to assure himself if he is conforming to the regulations set out in the ACT
Why are workplace inspections important?
Workplace inspections help prevent incidents, injuries and illnesses. Through a critical examination of the workplace, inspections help to identify and record hazards for corrective action. Health and safety committees can help plan, conduct, report and monitor inspections. Regular workplace inspections are an important part of the overall occupational health and safety law.
- Documentation/record keeping
- Hazard identification, risk assessment and communication
- Procedures are always followed
- Staff training required
- Equipment facility issues
- Good practices
Industrial Hygiene Surveys
An Industrial hygiene survey is a survey conducted to accurately identify and assess worker exposures to chemical, physical and biological agents in the workplace; to provide recommendations for their reduction or elimination; recommend controls; and to recommend enrolment in specific medical surveillance programs.
During an industrial hygiene survey, workplace contaminants are identified and quantified, worker complaints are investigated and engineering controls in place are evaluated.
These surveys are generally done regularly over specific time frames and follow specific patterns. Some of the surveys conducted include:
- Occupational Noise Measurement
- Heat Stress Measurement
- Air Quality Measurement
- Illumination Measurement
- Chemical and Biological Exposure Measurement
- Ergonomic Trend Measurement
Industrial Hygiene surveys can be conducted by qualified Occupational Safety experts and it is also part of the services that the Department of Factories Inspectorate offers.
- Occupational Noise Measurement:-
Introduction – Exposure to noise is a nuisance that must be avoided in industry. Excessive noise exposure causes induced hearing loss as well as other health and safety risks. Some of the industries that have been noted for high noise levels are; nails manufacturing companies, plastic recycling companies and textiles industries. Noise that comes from manufacturing processes should be reduced to recommended limits. Most legislations accept 85dB (A) to 90dB as the lower and upper threshold limits respectively, 85dB (A) is the permissible limit within which workers can conveniently work for eight hours, any noise level above 90 decibels is considered toxic to the worker. Occupational Noise measurements are undertaken in line with section 26 of the FOSA 328 which states that “Noise and vibrations likely to affect the health of persons employed in any factory, office or shop shall be reduced as far as possible by appropriate and practicable measures.”
Objective – it is conducted to ascertain empirically and accurately the noise levels in various parts of the workplace.
Instruments – the instruments used for this survey is Occupational Noise meter of which there are various types from companies such as Cirrus® Research an. It is usually measured in decibels (dB(A)). The duration between consecutive noise surveys is annual but this duration can be adjusted or changed based on the recommendation of the Inspector of Factories for the district
Outcome – the outcome of the survey is to generate accurate data for noise map or noise profile of the company which will be a guide to the management and safety officers as to how and where to improve noise levels.
- Heat Stress Measurement
Introduction – Ventilation is very important in the workplace as extreme heat and extreme cold affect the effectiveness and productivity of the employee. Section 15 of the Factories, Offices and Shops Act 328 states that “Effective and suitable provision shall be made in all factories, offices and shops to secure and maintain by the circulation of fresh air in each workroom the adequate ventilation of the room”. This provision covers the provision of cooling systems in the case of warm areas and warm refuges in the case of cold areas.
Objective – Heat Stress measurements are conducted to the heat stress in the specific area within the workplace and its impact of the worker.
Instruments – the instrument used is either an occupational heat stress meter or a Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer. It is usually measured in degrees Celsius (°C) or degrees Fahrenheit (°F).
Purpose- the purpose of this survey is to acquire a set of data that can be used to determine the heat stress workers are exposed to and to plan mitigating measures
Outcome – the outcome of the survey is a set of empirical data that can be used as a guide to improving ventilation in the premises.
- Illumination measurement
Introduction – decent lighting is very important in industry. The correct amount of lighting required in a particular place depends on the job to be performed. Several standards give examples for various visual tasks and corresponding illumination levels. This is also in line with section 17 of the FOSA 328 of 1970. Illumination measurements cover both administrative and production areas.
Objective – Illumination measurements are conducted to accurately ascertain the illumination levels in the workplace.
Instruments – the instrument used is the Industrial light meter. Its units are Lux (), Foot-candle (fc)
Purpose – the purpose of the Illumination survey is to generate accurate data on lighting in all workplaces
Health & Safety Promotion
The safety, health and wellbeing of persons employed at workplaces in Ghana are guaranteed by Article 24(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states that, inter allia, ‘Every person has the right to work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions.’ Article 36(10) states that ‘The state shall safeguard the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment and shall establish the basis of the full deployment of the creative potential of all Ghanaians’.
One of the key policy objectives of the Department of Factories Inspectorate is to prevent occupational accidents and diseases that arise from exposure to stresses in the working environment, by the promotion and enforcement of measures that will safeguard the health and safety of workers using as basis the provisions of the Factories, Offices and Shops Act 1970, ACT 328.
To promote safety effectively, employees have to adopt appropriate administrative procedures and workers must use safe working practices. The protection of workers against sickness, disease and injury related to their work environment, as embodied in the Preamble to the Constitution of the ILO and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (Convention 187) , has been a central issue for the ILO since 1919 when three of six Recommendations directly related to occupational safety and health (OSH) were adopted by the International Labour Conference. As succinctly put by the Director-General of the ILO, Juan Somavia, in referring to the Decent Work Agenda recently, “Decent work must be Safe Work”. The delivery of OSH promotion in a relevant and effective manner poses a real challenge, while obstacles and challenges have been faced and overcome in order to achieve the goals of protecting and promoting the health of the workers. Organisations need to adopt safety management system approach, safety standard setting as well as safety culture and elimination. These measures must be employed.
- Safety float, games, sticker, flyers, banners, dramas, plays, film shows, health walks, what do you knows, safety clubs in schools, safety day celebration, safety workshop, safety training, safety in educational curriculum, safety week, safety durbars, safety awards, safety personality of the year, license exams for safety supervisors, empirical research on health and safety with publish scholarly article in an established newsletter or journal. Research and development as well as management systems are vital to improve awareness and thereby improving our health and safety. In summary, the scope and coverage of OSH provisions has evolved from a focus on industrial safety to one on workplace safety and health, from protection to prevention and assessment of risks. Modern standards reflect not only collective responsibilities to workplace safety and health but also the respective roles, rights, responsibilities and areas for cooperation of and between employers, workers and their representatives.
DEPARTMENT OF FACTORIES INSPECTORATE
P. O. BOX MB 58, ACCRA
+233 (0) 24 144 6605