The Director of Kwara State Fire Service, Mr Abdulwaheed Yakub, has called on safety experts and professionals to impart the culture of safety in their work environment.

The Director made the call in Ilorin on Monday to commemorate the 2019 World Day for Health and Safety at Work.

He said, “Many companies, government organisations, private sectors and other employers of labour were invited for this year celebration, for them to learn the importance of safety.

“Every office must have safety facilities, including free health insurance scheme to help and encourage workers.

“Employers should also provide safety measures for their workers and any employer who refused to do so should be sanctioned.”

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, decried the alarming global statistics of work-related diseases and accidents.

He said that the situation was regrettable as most of the incidents could have been prevented through public advocacy and sensitisation.

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He said, “This is in view of the alarming statistics that indicate that each year, 2.78 million workers die from occupational accident and work related diseases, while additional 374 million workers suffer from non-fatal occupational accidents.

“The economic cost of these figures was enormous and unquantifiable.

“It is also quite tragic and regrettable, considering that such immeasurable human suffering and catastrophes caused by poor occupational safety and health practices and condition were largely preventable.”

Prof. Solomon Olayinka of Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology (LAUTECH) advised the government to prioritise safety.

According to him, “One of the importance of today’s celebration is for the employees to be sensitized on the importance of their safety and also know their rights through sensitization programmes or through their labour unions.

“Most private sector employers are trying to some extent, compared to the public sector, but even at that, the money the private sector pays for work hazards is insufficient.

“So, there is need for more research to enable us get to the roots of the problems and unearth solutions.”

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