Health, Safety and Envi
ronment (HSE) practitioners have been urged to support government in its efforts to regulate occupational safety and health awareness to improve collaboration among stakeholders for sustainable economic development.
The Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Fouad Oki, made the call in his goodwill message at the 2016 Annual Professional Development Conference (APDC) organised recently by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Nigeria Chapter in Lagos State, with the theme: “Safety Advocacy And Compliance For Sustainable Society”.
He added that management system of occupational safety and health systems in the country faced serious challenges such as lack of sustained coordination and respect for extant laws by professionals.
The director-general further said: “We don’t have a choice about it. Unless we pull our resources together, the challenge will overwhelm us, especially at the state level. This is exactly the reason why the Lagos State Safety Commission was set up to address the very serious safety challenges bedeviling the workplace.”
The President of ASSE, Michael Belcher, said the association will work closely with governments across the globe to ensure that safety regulations were not only put in place, but are also effective in reducing accidents and injuries.
Also speaking, President of ASSE, Nigeria Chapter, Rita Obayojie, said that safety consciousness and awareness were on the increase in the country, and called for sustained efforts in increasing awareness campaigns by governments as well as professionals through trainings, pep talks, road shows, conferences, seminars and workshops.
According to her, the theme of the conference was designed to create an avenue for professionals, not only to come together for the sake of safety, but also to take away quality ideas and strategies to move safety to the next level in the workplace and at homes.
She stressed the need for stakeholders to renew their humanitarian service to protect people, properties and the environment, and to continually be advocates of safety, both in words, actions and reactions by devising sustainable techniques to keep Nigeria safe.
Obayojie said: “Safety awareness in Nigeria has always been a sensitive issue as organizations and professional bodies had looked for ways to collaborate with the government on how to ensure sustainability”, adding that, “we have had to deal with unsafe conditions and acts in our daily lives and we see these occurring in our society on several occasions in our little ways as professionals.
“We will continue to intervene and educate those involved and make them aware of the risks and hazards associated with unsafe actions on the environment, while suggesting the most practicable control measures to limit the negative consequences of unsafe practices,” she said.
It would be recalled that in order to evolve sustainable strategies enshrined in extant regulations on safety in Nigeria, professionals have been in synergy with government, institutions and organizations to promote the culture of safety across all sectors in the country.