Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is an important facet for the success of any business and its operations. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has anchored this in its constitution, through the principle that workers must be protected from sickness, disease and injury arising from their employment.
For GDC, safety has been key in undertaking geothermal development operations which is considered a high-risk undertaking. The company strives to follow the government requirements outlined in the Occupation Safety and Health Act 2007 and enforced by the Directorate of Occupational Safety, And Health Services.
This year, GDC joined the world in celebrating the annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The day’s theme “Act together to build a positive safety and health culture” focused on enhancing social dialogue towards a safety and health culture, while promoting the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.
GDC’s workplace safety is spearheaded by a robust Safety Health and Environment (SHE) team and is tasked with preventing all work-related injuries, ill health, diseases and incidents that can result from high-risk operating conditions, as well as reducing the risk of adverse effects that may result from these operating conditions. This year, our SHE experts commemorated the day by taking GDC staffers through a company-wide virtual training and sensitization on safety and basic first aid in the workplace.
“The mandate of the SHE Department is to plan, develop and implement environmentally sound programs for sustainable development and a safe working environment for all. SHE ensures that GDC complies with statutory requirements for both environmental and occupational safety and health,” said Mr. Gabriel Wetangula, Manager – SHE.
While leading the safety sensitisation and basic first aid training, Mr. Patrick Oyugi, a GDC Senior Safety Engineer stressed the significance of safety to the success of an organization. He called on all employees to strive to observe all the safety requirements towards maintaining a safe working environment.
“Safety is very important for GDC and all companies at large. Safe work procedures and policies play a significant part in meeting productivity targets by ensuring that plant and equipment are in good condition for use by competent staff,” said Mr. Oyugi. The first aid training was meant to provide staff and supervisors with the necessary knowledge and skill to tackle cases of emergencies.
To further a ‘safety first’ culture, GDC has established safety committees to cascade the implementation of safety measures as well as carrying out external safety audits to monitor compliance on a continuous basis. GDC has also complied with the mandatory SHE statutory requirements. Key among them are the acquisition of statutory permits such as Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) licenses and water abstraction permits, acquisition of safety and environmental compliance certificates, provision of appropriate personal protective clothing (PPEs) to staff, and ensuring that there are minimal risks to the safety and health of workers.
The company’s management is committed to ensuring safety directives are addressed, not only for compliance but to also ensure safety is achieved at a high standard. This goes a long way in achieving the company’s mandate and ensuring a conducive and safe work environment for all the GDC staff and other stakeholders.