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Gold Fields Ghana Limited (Tarkwa Mine) partnered with the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) to raise awareness on road safety and incident management in Tarkwa in commemoration of this year's World Day of Health and Safety at Work.
The awareness campaign follows the high incidents of road accidents across the country in which thousands of lives are lost each year.
Activities marking the Safety Day included mandatory alcohol and road worthy checks, road show, accident and emergency response simulation, as well as radio talk show and symposium on road safety and incident prevention.
The programme received maximum support from the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana National Fire Service, whose officers conducted the road show and the accident and emergency response drill during a heavy downpour.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), National Road Safety Authority (NRSC) and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) also participated in the massive road safety awareness campaign.
UMaT, with the support of Gold Fields, will continue the road safety awareness campaign to help bring sanity and improve road safety behaviour among drivers, pedestrians and other road users in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality.
The Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof. Richard Amankwah, who is spearheading the road safety campaign said there would be vigorous training for all commercial drivers in Tarkwa and surrounding communities.
"Apart from the awareness going on today, eventually for the next two months, we are going to team up with GPRTU again to have in-house education for about 90% of the commercial drivers in Tarkwa and issue certificates to them.
"The instructors will be the safety managers of the mining companies, DVLA instructors, Fire Service and MTTD instructors. At the end of the day, our roads will become safer," he said.
"We live once and though we will go, we have to go at the right time and appropriately and not because of someone's carelessness," Prof. Amankwah added.
The Occupational Hygiene and Safety Manager of the Tarkwa Mine, Charles Opoku Amoateng, explained that the company is involved because safety is a priority for Gold Fields, and the company wants to help reduce risks on the road.
"We know most of these accidents are caused by indiscipline on the road, and so we have given ourselves some few months to transform the behaviour of road users in the municipality," Mr Amoateng said.
The Western Regional Director of the National Road Safety Authority, Nana Ekua Ansah, called on pedestrians to be cautious when crossing the road as pedestrian knockdowns continue to increase.
"This year, we have recorded 70 pedestrians knockdown compared to last year, where we recorded 45. Out of the 70, 15 have died," she said.
She urged road users to observe all road safety guidelines and attach seriousness to road safety as done for COVID-19 prevention.
The theme for the 2021 World Day of Health and Safety at Work is "Anticipate, prepare and respond to the crisis – invest now in resilient OHS systems".