By John Ogunsemore
The Director General of the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC), Hon. Hakeem Dickson, has disclosed that the body is spearheading the launch of “Vision Zero” across the African continent.
Dickson made this known yesterday, at a seminar on “Safety Considerations in Civil Engineering Infrastructure and Facilities Management” held in conjunction with the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Lagos State Chapter in Alausa, Ikeja.
The safety commission boss said that the Vision Zero campaign was launched globally at the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health in Singapore in 2017 to promote health, safety and wellbeing of workers.
He disclosed that as the only safety commission in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, the LSC officially launched Vision Zero in Africa at a conference in Lagos in June 2018.
The DG said, “We have gone ahead to launch Vision Zero in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
“We were at the launch of Vision Zero Zambia in December, and that of South Africa will come up in April.”
Meanwhile, a safety professional, Engr Jamiu Badmos, has identified the full implementation of the “7 Golden Rules” of Vision Zero as a panacea to accidents on construction sites.
Quoting figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), he disclosed that 60,000 fatal accidents occur on construction sites annually around the world, lamenting the dearth of data in Nigeria.
According to him, some “common, hidden and invisible killers” on construction sites included working at height, cranes, heat, noise, asbestos, electricity and poor hygiene.
“You go to sites in Lagos and you see a lot of violations everywhere. People are dying but we don’t know,” he said.
He noted that although ILO and Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC) guidelines on construction already addressed a bulk of those problems, the guidelines were not being followed by practitioners.
Badmos, who is the Head of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) at Ikeja Electric Plc, maintained that with the full implementation of the Vision Zero rules, accidents can be eradicated on construction sites.
He highlighted the “7 Golden Rules” as: Take leadership – demonstrate commitment; Identify hazards – control risks; Define targets – develop programmes; Ensure a safe and healthy system – be well-organised; Ensure safety and health in machines, equipment and workplaces; Improve qualifications – develop competence; and Invest in people – motivate by participation.
In the same vein, the Head, Retail, Law Union and Rock Insurance, Mrs Dayo Samuel-Molumo harped on the importance of insurance cover for construction projects in the country.
“A construction project without insurance cover is an accident waiting to happen,” she said.