Ogun Building Collapse: ISPON Chairman recommends preventive measures, says collapse is man-made

The Chairman Ogun State ISPON Branch, Mr. Gbolahan Ogunmefun has attributed the recently collapsed government building in Ogun state to be majorly man mad, describing it as unfortunate and preventable accident.
Mr. Gbolahan said this in a statement released to media recently and as delivered to Safety Record Newspaper on occasion of a four-storey shopping complex constructed by the Ogun State Government that collapsed killing one person person, while many sustain injuries of different degrees.

The project at the popular Itoku market of Abeokuta caved in Friday morning, trapping several construction workers, as witnessed by Safety Record Newspaper.
When our correspondent arrived the scene, it was observed that inhabitants and traders of Itoku, Abeokuta South LGA, following the death of one woman and others who sustained different degrees of injuries.

The Ogun state head of safety professionals who commiserated with the victims and people of the state over the incident said, “I want to say here that apart from some very rare cases of natural accident; most building collapse cases in the state are majorly man-made.”
Disturbed by the recurrent building collapse in the state, the professional beckoned on other well meaning Nigerian professionals to deploy measures that would aid in preventing the occurrences from happening and not seek for whom to prosecute as this would not be a better solution to drastically reduce, if not totally eradicate the disaster in the state.

He said, “Having considered the on-going investigation process into the real cause(s) of the incident as expressed by the Executive State Governor shortly after the sad incident, remedial actions such as those listed below could be used as preventive measures in averting reoccurrence of such preventable incident.
“These actions are those that are taken when design and construction standards are appropriately stated, adhered to and tailored by the professionals and the planning authority officials in order to reduce the problems of collapsed buildings to a manageable proportion as proposed here.”

He therefore proffered that stringent penalties should be applied for those responsible for collapse of buildings, particularly when loss of lives is involved.
He further advised, “Town Planning Authorities should be adequately staffed and equipped with professionals (including ISPON) in the construction industry for effective monitoring of projects during and after construction.

“Continuing professional development should be emphasised by both the professional bodies and the government on modern trends in the building industry as to keep members of the building industry abreast with new trends in construction.
“Government should provide an enabling law for the training, and effective control of artisans and craftsmen in the building industry. Professionally screen those getting involved in housing projects.”

On the structures of the building and construction engineers, he advised, “For any building structure, a structural engineer and a safety professional must be involved. Construction work should only be carried out by registered contractors and supervised by registered safety professionals, architects, engineers and builders rather than engaging unskilled contractors.
“Clients should obtain approvals before they begin construction. At the same time, they should work with the approved drawings and specifications. Any alterations should be approved before their implementations.

“To promote the safety of buildings therefore, a holistic approach is required whereby all relevant outfits and organisations must be involved apart from the recognized professional bodies. A regular audit of defective structures must be carried out and such structures marked for demolition should be demolished before it causes havoc on lives and properties.
“Government at all levels should intensify public enlightenment, placing emphasis on how building disasters could be prevented rather than managing situations which might be costlier.”