CAMEROON/IVORY COAST – IDH and the non-profit cooperative Banana Link have initiated a groundbreaking two-year project to enhance occupational health and safety risk assessments and control measures within the banana industry in Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

The project in collaboration with banana plantation companies, trade union platforms, and staff delegates has a core mission to cultivate a safer working environment for all employees engaged in the industry.

Furthermore, it aspires to augment knowledge, aligning with the SIFAV ambition to create a positive impact on salient issues surrounding working conditions.

“While bananas serve as a global staple food, with over 85% of production consumed locally, the export-centric nature of the industry poses significant health risks to workers and the environment,” outlines SIFAV.

Ensuring a secure and healthy workplace is the responsibility of banana plantation companies, essential in upholding the fundamental right of employees to a safe working environment.

Rethinking Occupational Health and Safety

The collaboration between IDH and Banana Link aims to pioneer a paradigm shift in the approach to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) risk assessments and control measures.

Co-funded by IDH, the project endeavors to develop and test an innovative approach centered on on-site risk assessments by companies, departing from conventional desk-based evaluations.

Crucially, this methodology actively involves the workforce and trade unions, integrating gender-specific risk assessments.

A Gender-Sensitive Initiative

Taking a gender-sensitive stance, the project actively encourages the inclusion of female workers in leadership roles within the Core Trainers team, targeting a representation of 25%.

Moreover, it focuses on gathering precise data on gender specific OHS risks, compelling employers to take proactive measures.

This inclusive approach not only fosters a safer workplace but also enhances its appeal for women, contributing to the recruitment and retention of female employees.

A Collaborative Effort for Transformation

The project leverages the expertise of five forward-thinking organizations, including Compagnie Fruitiere Plantations and trade union platforms in Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

These entities play crucial roles in coordinating worker engagement, utilizing resources, supporting lead trainers, and overseeing project management.

While currently centered in Cameroon and Ivory Coast, the project envisions extending its outcomes to other countries.

The two collaborating organizations further call on those interested in learning more about this pioneering initiative or joining the mission to contact for further details on participation.

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