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CE's Speech - 3rd Quadrennial Delegates' Conference

GRIDCo Press

 

  ADDRESS BY MR. JONATHAN AMOAKO-BAAH,

CHIEF EXECUTIVE GHANA GRID COMPANY LIMITED (GRIDCo)
AT THE 3RD QUADRENNIAL DELEGATES CONFERENCE OF THE GRIDCo PUBLIC SERVICE WORKERS UNION
KUMASI, FROM MARCH 14-16, 2018
 
Protocols
It is always a pleasure for me to join you colleagues in whatever forum we find ourselves, especially if it offers us the opportunity to discuss how to grow our business and also think about our welfare and other issues. My presence here this morning with you is no exception.
I can see from the excitement and interactions that you are having a great Congress. I believe that your deliberations so far have been fruitful. I am confident that this congress will produce another group of competent and hardworking Officers who will join hands with the Senior Staff Association and Management to make our company the model transmission utility we aspire to be.
Personally, I look forward to enjoying the same cordial relations and partnership that has always existed between the Union and Management since the incorporation of GRIDCo ten years ago.
Colleagues, this continued peaceful industrial relations environment and partnership are very important at this critical time in the life of Ghana Grid Company Limited. Over the last few years our company has been going through a period of austerity. As if that is not enough, the recent tariff announcement by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) resulted in a 17 percent reduction in our Transmission Service Charge (TSC). This means our projected revenue for 2018 will drop by the same percentage points or more. This will further exacerbate our financial situation if we do not introduce prudent measures that will include a reconsideration and review of some aspects of our budget for this year. I believe you have already noticed some of these measures being implemented with the support of our Board to make savings. Let me assure you that these measures will not impact negatively on our operations in the short to medium term period.
There is no doubt your reflections on the circumstances of our enterprise prompted you to opt for the theme “Promoting Occupational Safety and Health; The Quest for Building a Safety Culture”, for this Congress. If that is the case, then you really appreciate that a positive safety culture can be used with other options in addressing the current situation of our company.
Safety is one of our core values. A company that does not recognize safety as a corporate culture invariably has very expensive business operation and expenses as a result of accidents, deaths, loss of equipment and poor environmental housekeeping. In other words, a poor safety culture eventually leads to poor financial controls and service delivery. That is not and will never be the GRIDCo Way.
A company with a strong safety culture boosts its finances and service delivery and makes a lot of savings in revenue that would have gone into payment of workman’s compensation, repairing or buying new equipment, and having a large number of staff reporting sick, among others as a result of poor health and safety practices.
My word of encouragement to all of us is that in the midst of the current challenges, let us adopt a positive attitude to our circumstances and see the opportunities that it brings to us all.
Most importantly, I would also urge us to develop trust among ourselves. This is critical for an effective safety culture. There is no doubt that we will make mistakes and errors in our work. Unfortunate though, these provide invaluable learning for all of us especially when the lessons learned are shared.  Additionally, Management will continue its cordial relationships with you. I will appeal to you to be open and honest with us about what is working, what is not and what still needs to change.  To the new Officers who will be elected, my doors are open for such a trusting and open relationship.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in the past ten years since our operationalization, all our efforts and commitment have been geared towards building a holistic health and safety management system for our enterprise. The most important approach for all of us – Management and staff- is our shared commitment to developing and adopting a positive safety culture. This I know for certain is available within the company and has to be sustained.
Secondly, we have religiously stuck to three key internationally accepted elements in all our safety practices. These are:
  • Developing working practices and rules for effectively controlling hazards
  • Ensuring a  positive attitude towards risk management and compliance with the control processes, and
  • The capacity to learn from accidents, near misses and safety performance indicators and bring about continuous improvements in our operations.
We have over the years never departed from these and our weekly safety meetings for technical staff and monthly safety meetings for non-technical staff, continuously help to assure and offer improvements in our health and safety practices. Management will continue to encourage all to develop a personal commitment to health and safety on their own and within their respective work teams, while working with their Safety coordinators to make the work environment safer. We will find ways of sanctioning those who for no reasons repeatedly miss their Departmental Safety Meetings.
Another area for a positive corporate safety culture is to continuously offer best practices training to our staff, especially the Maintenance and Operations Departments and Safety Coordinators across the Network.
Management is encouraging the Network Performance Department (NPD) to upgrade its awards to Areas who excel in keeping to the Company’s safety rules to serve as an incentive for engendering an environment of openness and encouraging staff to report incidents and near-misses etc. Additionally, I believe we must work to also celebrate individuals who live the safety culture in a big way so as to motivate others to also put in their best. Ultimately Management wants to hold every staff accountable for being visibly involved in ensuring that we all work in a safe environment. We all must be leaders for a positive change.
Let me emphasize the need here for all to make it a personal commitment to undertake their annual medical checkups. This is of importance to me and I will demand that the Director, HR & Services, ensures that every staff complies with this.
Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to leave you with the message that your theme for Congress must not end here. I pray that we would leave here with the strong conviction that safety must continue to be part of our everyday life. It is only with this attitude that we can show such positive behavior wherever we are.
I wish you all a successful Congress. And may the best candidates win.
I thank you all for your attention