Nigeria’s largest power generating company, Egbin Power Plc on Tuesday flagged off its Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Week 2017 themed ‘Safety: Our Collective Responsibility.’
The event which is taking place at the company’s premises in Ikorodu, Lagos, featured lecture and practical sessions on health and safety on its first day.
The Head, Health, Safety and Environment, Egbin Power Plc, Mrs Prisca Iwunze, explained that the HSE Week was organised in line with the company’s commitment to maintaining an accident-free workplace and commended the company’s management for excellent commitment to and involvement in HSE.
She said, “Egbin is a company that takes safety as a core value, not just as a priority. Priority can change but when you have something as a core value, it doesn’t change.”
Iwunze disclosed that the theme of the 2017 programme was strategically chosen in furtherance of the safety-centred focus of the company and in celebration of over two years of working without Loss Time Accidents (LTA).
“In 2015, the theme was ‘Working With Safety, Life Tomorrow’, which all the employees keyed into when they realised that there’s need for them to be alive. It’s only when one is alive that he can tell the story tomorrow.
“And that has led to what we are celebrating today – 907 days without Loss Time Accidents, which most companies don’t record.
“Having keyed into that, we realised that we needed to work towards the sustainability of this plant as a power plant, and that informed the theme of the 2016 safety week: ‘Safety: Key To Sustainability’.
“As the biggest power plant in Nigeria and even West Africa, we have goals and expectations and these goals and expectations cannot be achieved by the Head of HSE alone or the management alone but through collective effort of everybody.
“So that is why we chose the team, ‘Safety: Our Collective Responsibility,’” she added.
Furthermore, the HSE Head disclosed that Egbin Power has been actively working towards earning the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications by the first quarter of 2018, like its sister company, Ikeja Electric which recently earned the ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.
A guest lecturer, Mr Ehi Iden, called for closer cooperation between employees and management within organisations to achieve better HSE records while harping on the need for strengthening HSE reporting systems in organisations.
Iden, who is the Managing Director of Occupational Health and Safety Managers (OHSM), a safety consulting firm, condemned the over-monetisation and incentivisation of HSE performance in many organisations, describing it as “good but also counterproductive”.
He said unnecessary monetising of HSE performance can compel company employees to cut corners with incident reporting in order to win incentives earmarked for good HSE performance.
The safety professional recounted the case of a retired supervisor in an American company who was prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the nation’s safety watchdog, for offences committed while in service and jailed for five years.
According to Iden, the retired supervisor, who retired six years prior, was found to have falsified records of near misses, incidents and accidents in his department in order to win awards and cash rewards for HSE performance.
He said the matter was blown open after a local doctor uncovered prevalence of an occupational ailment among workers who served under the retired supervisor.