Safety Professional Reiterates Call For Speedy Passage of OSH Legislation


The Executive Director of safety training and consulting firm, SMTS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Wale Bakare, has reiterated his call for sound legislative framework for Health and Safety practice in Nigeria.

Bakare, who has been in the forefront of the campaign for legislative backing for OHS in Nigeria as obtainable in other climes, made the latest call in an email interview with Safety Record Newspaper on Saturday, January 21.

He said, “As long as we still do not have a legislative framework for Health & Safety in Nigeria, we will be deceiving ourselves if we think the Safety Culture in the country can develop.

“The Occupational Health & Safety law which seems to be perpetually dogged by controversy is the single most important piece of legislation, not just for H&S practitioners, but for the workforce in this country in the last 40 years.

“Yet for some reason that I can’t understand, the Bill keeps getting kicked from one administration to another.”

He noted that the failure to enact clear laws on Occupational Health and Safety in Nigeria will continue to permit organisations to prioritise profit over workers’ welfare.

“Until we have clear laws on Health & Safety, Industry and Commerce will always prioritise profit over the welfare of workers.

“It is only when the law is passed that we can begin to talk about development of the Health & Safety culture in the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, the award-winning safety consultant recently facilitated a 2-day UKPIA Petrol Retail Course in Scotland.

Giving a background of the programme, Bakare said, “I am an accredited trainer for the UKPIA Petrol Retail Course.

“The UKPIA stands for the United Kingdom Petrol Industries Association and it is made up of the 10 biggest players in the UK petroleum downstream industry.

“No contractor in the UK is allowed to work on any Petrol Station in the UK without going through this Health & Safety training which takes you through the hazards associated with working on a petrol station (especially relating to petrol) and how to control them to reduce the risks.

“This essentially helps to greatly reduce the likelihood of mishaps and accidents on the forecourt. I run this course (amongst others all over the UK).”

He further explained that participants in the course are awarded certificates that are valid for three years and renewable for another three years upon attending another 1-day refresher course.

He said, “It’s a 2-day stand-alone course and the certification is valid for 3 years after which you do a 1-day refresher to renew the validity for another 3 years.

“I however run different Health & Safety training courses around the country, from simple 1-day Asbestos Management training to the Nebosh National General Certificate Course. I also carry out Contractor audits on behalf of BP.”

When asked how his audiences relate to the fact that he is a foreigner, Bakare said, “a good trainer will be appreciated by any audience, regardless of race or colour and this has been confirmed by myself and others who I know have also trained outside the country”.

He however reiterated that there was need to enact enabling Health and Safety legislation to compliment the efforts of the professionals.


photocredit:  Andrew Esiebo