Safety experts have harped on the need for companies to improve their capacity to collect and utilise reliable Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) data.
They noted that OSH data is indispensable for setting priorities and measuring progress at organisations, in detection of hazards and risk, the development of OSH preventive programmes, and the identification of hazardous sectors.
They stated these at a Friday, April 28 event to mark the 2017 World Day for Safety and Health at Work organised by the World Safety Organisation (WSO), Nigeria chapter at United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The President of World Safety Organisation (WSO), Nigeria chapter, Mr. Soji Olalokun, who was represented by Kennedy Osagie, the chapter’s spokesperson, said optimising the collection of reliable OSH data is essential for establishing priority, including national and workplace accident prevention programmes.
The founder of website, The Safety Chic, Ms. Ugochi Obidiegwu blamed many safety infractions in the country on lack of knowledge, saying that when people do not pass information at the right time because they think it is insignificant, things go wrong.
Speaking at the event themed “Improving Workplace Safety and Emergency Response by Optimising the Use and Collection of OSH Data,” she reiterated that most things that people take for granted are what snowball into major problems.
Obidiegwu explained that everything is important in health and safety of a workplace and having reliable data enables the provision of a framework of accurate medical surveillance.
“Also, reliable data provides a genuine basis for measuring safety performance against set safety standards.
“When you have reliable data, it helps you to know what you are doing right or wrong and how you can do better,” she said.
She lamented that people have poor safety culture because there are lot of workplaces where safety systems and rules are in place but people still ignore them.
In the same vein, the CEO of Hybrid Consulting, Mr. Dapo Omolade said Nigeria cannot grow economically when her safety system is messed up because economic growth finds foundation in a decent workplace and a decent workplace is a place where person can go to work and return home safely.
Quoting statistics from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Omolade noted that 6,300 people die daily as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases.
He said the problem of workplace-related fatality becomes worse when considered against the backdrop that many victims are breadwinners of their families.
“Some of you here have more than 100 people that depend on you. Just imagine 6,300 people dead and multiply that by an algorithm of 100 that are suffering because of those people that have died,” Omolade said.
He called on safety professionals and stakeholders to improve awareness about the world safety day.
Omolade said, “I still mentioned this to a client a month ago. I said, ‘do you know what is happening on April 28?’
“I said it’s World Safety Day and he was like, World Safety Day?”
He said he did a poll about awareness about the World Safety Day in 2011 and less than 1 percent of respondents claimed knowledge of the day.
“People know Water Day, HIV Day but they don’t know Safety Day,” he noted.