By Bakary Fatty
Gambia’s construction sector was giving a big face-lift in terms of promoting, propagating and progressing Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), as 125 young Gambians benefited from a three-day trainers training.
Organised by the International Labour Organisation, ILO in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE), Department of Labour and Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the training was aimed at moving The Gambia towards international best at-work standards and practices.
The first batch of trainers had their skills on OSH developed in August. And to show the determination of the ILO towards training Gambians, another training was organised with the Trade Union in October 2018.
The 125 trainers, who would go on to benefit a great deal from their experience of the training, were trained on ILO’s Programme Work in Small Construction Site “WISCON”, giving them practical and pragmatic approaches and examples on how to prepare, avoid and make work sites safe places to work, and minimise risks and accidents.
Equipped with the required skills, the beneficiaries can focus on their jobs in the full knowledge that they have put in place all the standard procedures that can immune them from any harm.
The trainers also were tasked to serve as message-carrying ambassadors, who would go on to preach, show and encourage their fellow workers to follow the spirit and letter of the OSH guidelines they learned from the ILO/MoTIE training.
With the zeal and determination of a new convert, the ILO trained trainers set out to preach the case of OSH standards to road construction workers at Kotu Promenade Road, and also workers at Gunjur Construction and Access Road in a one-day training organised respectively for the two groups of people.
In the spirit of following international best standards, and also put the health and safety of workers at the heart of the functions of the ILO, the young trainers benefited from medical insurance packages against accidents while working on-site. They were also doled out a daily allowance of D250.00 throughout the project period.