Nigeria Safety Award celebrates excellence

SAFETYIN a bid to celebrate safety practice and reward organizations that have maintained safety standards of employees and workplace environment as well as raising consciousness about safety, the Nigeria Safety Award For Excellence held its maiden event.

The event, which held at the Oriental hotels, Lekki gathered safety professionals, organisations and stakeholders in manufacturing, oil and gas, power and utilities, transportation, emergency response, telecommunications, aviation, banking, among others.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Coordinating Officer, Nigeria Safety Awards for Excellence, Mr. Femi Da Silva, noted that the event is targeted at celebrating organizations and individuals committed to ensuring that the message of safety is heard.

“We want more people to be aware of occupational health and safety because their safety is of paramount importance and nobody should be injured in his workplace. Even though we have laws that may not be effective to protect workers at their workplace, hence safety professionals organised a walk to remind the government that these laws should be implemented and enforced.”

One of the panelists, a health and safety consultant, Dr. Bamishayo Oluwagbemi, noted that the criteria used in selecting the organizations included their contribution to health and safety in Nigeria, the robust nature of activities in their different fields in creating awareness, as well as their impact on health and safety in Nigeria most especially in institutions and workplaces.

While commenting on the practice of safety in Nigeria, he said, “Safety has come a long way, even though I am a happy man having contributed to the safety culture in the 80s when there was nothing on ground. Notwithstanding, we do not have a safety culture in Nigeria but we are gradually developing that. I think the first safety culture developed in Nigeria was as a result of the Ebola epidemic and that was cross-sectional because it is gone now, but what the safety body is doing, is to create safety awareness not only in the workplace but in the public.

“However, health and safety laws cannot work in this country until the leaders change their apathy towards health and safety. How many factory inspectors do we have in this country, only 66 covering the 36 states of the federation and so it is not possible to have the competence to checkmate and ensure safety consciousness. In Nigeria we are only reactive, not proactive”, he added.

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