Published 30 March 2021
This paper analyses the existing regulatory framework in Ghana in terms both of the architecture and of the orientation of health and safety regulation. As regards the regulatory architecture, it concludes that it is characterised by fragmented agencies under piecemeal legislation. This has resulted in regulatory overlap and lacunae. Also, the regulatory agencies including the emerging upstream regulator are saddled with conflicting missions of resource exploitation and oversight of health and safety. It is further demonstrated that these agencies lack decision making independence and therefore cannot provide the independence and visibility required for a robust health and safety regime.
Whereas the current regulatory challenge faced by Ghana has been experienced previously in the UKCS and the US OCS, and steps have been taken there to resolve the problem of conflicting functions, the precise approach differs in each case. But the degree to which the principle of separating functions has been observed in each case may be said to correlate with the robustness of the regime in question. As regards regulatory orientation, the paper asserts that Ghana’s is basically self-regulatory while the US OCS approach is prescriptive and the UKCS framework is characterised by goal-setting and process regulation. It concludes that the UK’s approach should be adopted for Ghana so that all the fragmented industry specific agencies and legislation would be replaced with a single independent and visible authority and a single goal setting legislation for occupational health and safety.