The year 2016 has come and gone. However, some safety events held during the course of the year that will not be forgotten in a hurry. While some were professional conferences and safety campaigns, others celebrated the work of eminent personalities in the industry that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to promote the safety and health of others both in the workplace and at home.
These events not only extended the frontiers of the safety profession in the country but also raised and promoted Occupational Safety and Health consciousness in Nigeria.
- ASSE Safety Summit 2016: The Nigerian chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) held its 2016 Professional Development Conference and Exhibition at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos between April 16 and 18. Themed, “Safety Advocacy and Compliance for a Sustainable Society,” the safety summit brought together hundreds of safety professionals, captains of industry, companies and regulators from all across Africa to learn new techniques and brainstorm on strategies for ensuring sustainability and growth of safety practice in the country. The gathering also provided ample opportunity for companies to exhibit their cutting-edge OSH products and services to a highly-targeted audience.
- WSO Nigeria World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2016: The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is held on April 28 and has been observed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) since 2003. The World Safety Organisation (WSO) Nigeria in collaboration with various safety professional bodies across the nation held a programme to commemorate the day in three different locations: Benin, Abuja and Lagos. The programme theme was “Workplace Stress: A Collective Challenge”. The Benin location had over 350 participants, Lagos 90 participants, and Abuja 300 participants, drawn across the safety profession, regulators, academia and the media. The Abuja event was attended by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige. The Chief Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Prof. Michael Ibadin was one of those who attended the Benin event. Late doyen of safety, Dr. Bamisayo Oluwagbemi was one of those who graced the Lagos event. At the Abuja event, Dr. Ngige unveiled the Occupational Safety and Health Inspection Checklist published by the Federal government of Nigeria under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
- 9jaSAFE 2016: The Nigeria Safety Award for Excellence Hall of Fame (9jaSAFE) 2016 was a “gathering of the eagles of HSE”, to use the words of a participant and SHE Manager of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Fyneray Mbata. It was the second edition of the award. Held at the prestigious Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, the award was a potpourri of networking, panel discussion, recognition of top performances in the HSE industry, and relaxing atmosphere moderated by popular comedian, Seyi Law. Some of the awards for grabs were the Personality of the Year, Company of the Year, Merit Award, Torch Bearers Award and Guardian Angel. While versatile First Aider, Dare Akinfosile won the Personality of the Year award, Mr. Segun Bakare of Petrolex Oil and Gas went home with the HSE Manager of the Year award while Friesland Campina (Makers of peak milk) won the company of the year.
- RSC Summit 2016: The summit was organised by Road Safety Coalition, a coalition of road safety-focused NGOs. The summit brought together dozens of road safety experts in the private and public sectors with various road safety enforcement agencies in Lagos, Ogun and Delta states, including FRSC, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Army to deliberate on the effectiveness of road safety enforcement efforts so far. Popular human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) delivered one of the keynote addresses at the summit and charged government at all levels to stop paying lip service to road safety enforcement. The conference called for, among others, better collaboration between all road safety enforcement agencies for better results. It also called for using technology to reduce law enforcement agents’ contact with motorists to avoid unpleasant situations.
- ISPoN Conference 2016: The Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPoN) held its 35th Professional Development Conference and Annual General Meeting at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Auditorium, Awka, Anambra state from November 23-25. Themed “Emerging Health and Safety Security and Environmental Challenges in Nigeria”, the conference had as one of its major objectives the education of members on their roles and responsibilities as safety professionals. The event however degenerated into controversy when the AGM was cancelled. The election of the institute’s president should have been held during the AGM. Chief Innocent Okunamiri, the chairman of the institute’s Electoral Committee which should have conducted the election, announced at the end of the second day of the conference that a court order disallowed the election. Many of the institute’s members who had come for the purpose of the election were left disappointed.