By Yinka Padonu
Lagos State Safety Commission has added another milestone through the health and safety conference it organized for workers both in the public and private sector.
The 3 day Conference with the theme, “More than a Conference…It’s a Movement,’’ according to the organizers which held between February, 17-19, is said to be an annual event aimed at sensitizing and building knowledge based capacity in the area of health and safety for workers across the length and breadth of the state.
In his speech, the Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Fouad Oki, reiterated the state government’s commitment to the total wellbeing, safety and health of all citizens of Lagos State, as well as her workers in particular.
He said the health and safety conference which is going to be an annual event is a wakeup call to everyone in the state to make safety a priority without exclusion, as well as mitigate against loses which may arise from all kinds of workplace accidents.
Oki added that the commission which was inaugurated on the 5th of May, 2011 first as an office under the ministry of special duties, and subsequently signed to law, in July 2011, is the first to set standards for all sectors involved in the socio-economic activities in the state and issuance or withdrawal of overall safety compliance certificate of all levels.
“The need for the establishment of the commission was borne out of the dream and need to build a society that values life through a change in the unsafe behaviours that would increase life expectancy, national productivity and ultimately improve life quality and enhance conducive environment for investment,’’ Oki said.
Oki added that it is the responsibility of the Lagos Safety Commission to ensure that safety is integrated into all state structures as it gravitates into a mega city. He said the commission must keep driving change through regulatory action and commended that the worker’s safety conference is a good way to start if workplace place incidents and accidents must be minimized this year.
The conference which had several relevant workshop sessions is believed by stakeholders in the safety and health sectors to be coming at a good time where many workers have either lost their lives or experienced bodily injury at workplace which could have been avoided or minimized if such workers were well informed about workplace safety issues.
In one of the sessions, the Managing Director, WordsWorth Environs Limited, Prince Amidu Adekunle, who spoke on health and safety requirement for employees, said that it is the responsibility of employers to make sure employees don’t compromise on safety process at work.
He said, “Every worker must be safety conscious, report any unsafe incidence and most importantly understand the risk involved in their line of work so as not to jeopardize their life and the business as a whole.”
Speaking on occupational stress, safety expert, Engr. Jamiu Badmos, said that workers should learn to deal with stress as it has an adverse effect on general productivity.
“As they say ‘health is wealth’. All work and no play make jack a dull boy. No worker must take his or her health for granted. Your health status means a lot to your organization, your home and society at large,’’ Badmos said.
Badmos explained that there are various types of stress that affects workers such as emotional, psychological, mental and other wise and as such individuals should create time for rest, engage in exercise and not trade their annual leave for money.
Commenting on the conference, one of the attendees, Mr. Emeka Nnana, said that he is delighted that such a conference to educate workers on their safety is taking place and that it is indeed a welcome development on the part of Lagos State government.
Nnana said his only observation is that a lot of small scale industries were left behind.