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Ghana Gas unveils Occupational Health and Safety Accreditation

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Gas Company, Dr Ben Asante (left) receiving the certification from Mr Emmanuel Siaw, a representative of DNV, the certifying body. Standing by Dr Asante are Mr Robert Lartey, the General Manager, Operations and Project Co-ordinator, Mr Jaasu Yahaya.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Gas Company, Dr Ben Asante (left) receiving the certification from Mr Emmanuel Siaw, a representative of DNV, the certifying body. Standing by Dr Asante are Mr Robert Lartey, the General Manager, Operations and Project Co-ordinator, Mr Jaasu Yahaya.

The Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) has unveiled its new Occupational Health and Safety Accreditation— International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

The new Occupational Health and Safety Accreditation, dubbed: ISO 45001: 2018 certification, is the highest international accreditation for occupational health and safety management systems.

The company was issued the certification in April 2022 after independent certification audits were carried out on its facilities by DNV, a globally acclaimed expert in Business Assurance and Risk Management, headquartered in Norway.

GNGC is the country’s premier midstream gas business that owns and operates gas infrastructure required for gathering, processing, transporting and marketing of natural gas resources in Ghana and internationally.

Unveiling ceremony

Speaking at a ceremony in Accra on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, to unveil the implementation of the ISO 45001: 2018 certification, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr Ben Asante, said the development and implementation of the company's Occupational Health and Safety management system to meet international standards was one of the achievements of a new management strategic direction.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Gas Company, Dr Ben Asante (left) interacting with some ministers at the event

He said the main aim of the ISO 45001 certification was to enable management implement and maintain an up-to-date comprehensive health and safety system which “provides a framework for the prevention of work-related injury and ill health to workers, and to provide safe and healthy workplaces.”

He added that the ISO 45001:2018 certification was also intended to enhance continual improvement in the Ghana Gas' business operations and processes.

“By this health and safety management system certification, Ghana Gas has distinguished itself as the first wholly state owned enterprise in the energy sector in Ghana to have attained this prestigious accreditation,” Dr Asanted explained.

He said the company obtained the ISO 45001: 2018 certification largely due to the nature and the fast-pace growth of the Company's business operations and infrastructure in line with the vision of its management.

Successes

According to him, the ISO 45001 certification process had so far enabled the integration of the company’s health and safety protocols as well as the overall business processes at all levels of the organisation, which had increased workers’ participation in all the activities of the company.

He said the “ISO 45001 is the highest auditable accreditation and internationally accepted standard for occupational health and safety management system which defines the requirements for ensuring adequate systems, processes and controls are implemented by the certified organisation.”

The event was well attended

Dr Asante noted that all staff of the company had been adequately trained for the full implementation of the new health and safety system, saying “Some of the key trainings include ISO 45001:2018 awareness for all staff, ISO 45001:2018 internal auditors and ISO 45001:2018 lead auditor's trainings.”

Benefits

For his part, the General Manager in charge of Operations, Mr Robert Lartey, said the company stands to benefit in several ways following its ISO 45001 certification.

He said the new framework had enhanced the control and effectiveness of internal processes and overall organisational efficiency, performance and resilience.

In addition, he noted, the new certification had enhanced the company’s drive to provide a safer workplace as well as to prevent work-related injury and ill-health to all its staff—both management and junior staff.

For Mr Lartey, the ISO 45001: 2018 certification would boost the confidence of key stakeholders in the operations of the company and also enhanced the reputation of the company globally.

Expectations

He, however, explained that going forward, the success of this ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety management system certification achieved by Ghana Gas would depend on a number of factors, including leadership style and commitment, particularly from the top management to the Board, including the ownership, responsibility and accountability of all departments and functions.

Similarly, Mr Lartey observed, the success of the ISO 45001:2018 certification, which would be reviewed every three years, would also depend on the continuous involvement and participation of workers at all levels and functions across the entire organisation.