The development of behavioural safety methods may reduce the incidence of occupational diseases and accidents in the workplace.

This is the view of Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who was giving opening remarks at Pinnacle Safety Solutions??? Health and Safety Expo at the Accra Beach Hotel on Tuesday.

Explaining that behavioural safety is part of the Safety and Health at Work (SHAW) Act which speaks to the application of behavioural research on human performance to the problems of safety in the workplace, Senator Byer Suckoo outlined how this innovative health and safety measure will be implemented.

???Behaviour is observed by peers, documented and analysed, not with the aim of punishing but to identify specific unsafe behaviours that are responsible for workplace accidents or incidents and to correct those behaviours. This includes faults in the management system. This is why it is important that safety and health committees are functioning and that they include management as well as staff,??? she stressed.

Stating that the SHAW Act also articulates roles and responsibilities for the worker, the Labour Minister reinforced that ???everyone must keep an eye out??? for ???hotspots???.

???Peers at the same level are required to monitor each other. This enhances the level of commitment by participants resulting in a positive safety and health culture in the workplace. The role of Supervisors and Managers is also critical to the success of any behavioural safety change. They must allow workers time to conduct the observations; give praise and recognition as appropriate; and provide resources and assistance when remedial action is required,??? she reiterated.

Dr. Byer Suckoo emphasised that behavioural safety methodologies led to positive safety and health attitudes, which ultimately resulted in improved safety and health performance and greater workplace productivity. She added that preventative measures must take account of not only the prevention of physical injuries but occupational diseases as well.

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