Local procurement and OHS training for small and medium enterprises in Ghana

The Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) identified that local companies in the Western Region of Ghana find it difficult to participate in the supply chain servicing large companies, as they do not meet the required standards for occupational health and safety (OHS) management systems. This issue particularly affects Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as they do not have the resources or skills to develop and implement an effective system.

IM4DC was a lead partner in the strategic activities STCCI has undertaken over the past three years aimed at helping to achieve an appreciable level of local procurement in the extractive sector of Ghana. It began in 2012, when Vincent Annan, now CEO of STCCI, participated in a Local Procurement Study Tour of South Africa and Australia and the lessons learnt convinced STCCI of the need to adopt practical and innovative ways to address local procurement /local content challenges. What followed was a local procurement short course in Ghana for managers of mining and oil and gas companies.  Since then several staff members of STCCI have attended IM4DC courses on OHS and Community Aspects of Resource Developments. IM4DC also funded alumni to attend the first Ghana Extractive Industry Safety Conference (GEISC 2015) organised by STCCI.

In 2015, STCCI has been ramping activities to help small and medium enterprises set up health and safety management systems (HSMS). Effective Health and Safety Management not only prevent injuries and illness but also create positive work environments, increase production and reduce costs incurred through injury and illness.  

STCCI, in collaboration with IM4DC and funding from the Australian High Commission, Ghana, developed a programme named ‘Health & Safety Systems Development and Management Coaching Project for Small & Medium Enterprises’. The programme seeks to train local experts (HSE Coaches) to provide technical support to member companies of the Chamber in developing functional OHS Management Systems. In the first in a series of capacity building activities in June 2015, 35 young Ghanaians attended a training course developed by the Minerals Industry Safety & Health Centre (MISHC) of the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland. A service guide/tool kit on the development and implementation of OHS management systems and policies for SMEs was also produced.

As a result of the vibrancy of STCCI, as exhibited in its innovative approaches to addressing challenges, the realisation of effective and impactful local procurement, and the many other important services provided, such as its HSE capacity building projects, Cooperative Credit Union and Business Dispute Resolution Service, STCCI is now identified as an important organisation amongst Ghana’s Business Support Organisations.

STCCI has been empowered to influence change through the numerous projects it has successfully implemented to effect positive changes to enhance performances of member firms. STCCI through  projects such as the OHS Coaches Development is developing the capacities of others to influence critical changes in other organisations. Vincent Annan, CEO, STCCI

You can read the full alumni case study here

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