Wacam condemns Oil Company’s negligence

Wacam, a human rights, environmental and mining advocacy non-governmental organization, has condemned Baker Hughes, a US Oilfield service company operating in Ghana, for allegedly neglecting its legal responsibility to provide adequate long term specialised medical care for Andrew Boateng, its Ghanaian employee.

A press statement signed by Mrs Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, Associate Executive Director of Wacam, said: “Andrew Boateng is a Mechanical Engineer, who graduated from the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in 2006 and was recruited in Ghana to work with Baker Hughes Ghana after working with Goldfields Ghana Limited Projects Department for some time.

“His schedule involved rotational work in Gabon, Ghana and Congo and he was on an official international assignment in Gabon when he had an accident in the official vehicle of the Company at Port-Gentil in April 2014.

“Andrew Boateng sustained severe head and body injuries and was airlifted to Johannesburg for emergency treatment. He was moved twice to various medical facilities without the consent of his family.

“Since May 2015, Andrew Boateng has been dumped in a Serenity Home, a nursing home for the aged in Johannesburg without appropriate care or rehabilitation with specialised medical staff. Andrew Boateng suffered further head injury when he fell from his bed and has not received medical check-up after falling from his bed.

According to the statement, Baker Hughes was ignoring requests from Andrew Boateng’s family members and lawyer for specialised emergency care and attention and to investigate the cause for the head injury as a result of falling from his bed. “Andrew Boateng has not been given proper medical care and food at the current home for the aged. He cannot talk, walk nor eat by himself without support. He needs urgent specialised attention. Andrew Boateng is currently surviving on the benevolence of individuals”.

“Baker Hughes publicly proclaims that ‘Corporate Social Responsibility is central to our core values. We conduct our business in an ethical and responsible way’. The Andrew Boateng’s case is not merely an issue of Corporate Social Responsibility but an obligation on the Company to respect the right of its workers to fairness and appropriate medical care; especially in the case of Andrew Boateng, who had this accident on the job.

“Where is Baker Hughes commitment to care for the communities and people? Where is Baker Hughes commitment to respect ALL Human rights and lives? Where is Baker Hughes commitment to its own core values, business ethics and business code of conduct in the case of Andrew Boateng?” the statement queried.

It continued: “We are aware of the on-going discussions between Baker Hughes and Halliburton on the acquisition of Baker Hughes in December 2015 and we have reasons to believe that the attitude of Baker Hughes in the Andrew Boateng’s case is influenced by the possible acquisition of Baker Hughes by Halliburton.

“We condemn the attitude of Baker Hughes as irresponsible and a corporate crime committed against Andrew Boateng. We do not think that an expatriate staff from the Company’s home country, the US, who suffers the same fate would be abandoned in a home of the aged for over one year.

“We condemn the discrimination against local staff who, work in multinational companies.

“We demand that Baker Hughes takes immediate action to send Andrew Boateng to a specialised brain injury medical facility in the USA for specialised medical care and rehabilitation in accordance with the proclaimed core values of Baker Hughes.

The statement called on CSOs, Trade Unions, Faith-Based organisations, government agencies and all Ghanaians to join the struggle to get Baker Hughes to act responsibly in saving Andrew Boateng.

“Andrew Boateng cannot speak for himself and we must speak for him”, it declared. GNA

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