The Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Dike has identified loss of “critical data” as a leading consequence of health and safety process failure within the telecommunication sector.
He also revealed that the loss, if allowed to happen, could jeopardise the entire operations of any telecommunication firm.
Dike made this known in a lecture at a monthly IOSH Nigeria Informal Network meeting held in Ikeja, Lagos on Saturday, June 10.
In the lecture titled “Managing Health and Safety Risk within the Telecommunication Industry,” he said, “There are a whole lot of equipment that come into play (in the telecommunication sector).”
Dike added that of the many equipment and facilities in the industry, the Mobile Switching Centre (MSC) was “highly critical” because of the central role it plays in telecommunication operations.
“The Mobile Switching Centre is well protected in terms of security and fire protection. The insurance is very high.”
Explaining the importance of the MSC, Dike stated, “The MSC is a highly critical facility in the telecom industry.
“You don’t want anything to happen there because if you lose data…of a postpaid customer who is owing you a lot of money, what happens?
“The implication is that he can’t pay you anymore because you don’t have data to prove anything.”
However, he disclosed that the critical data were duplicated and kept separately to avoid total loss in case of any accident at the MSC.
Furthermore, Dike identified the key risks in the telecommunication industry as fire, electricity, fall from height, ergonomic risk, community crises, security and ultimately contractors management.
He highlighted other risks as carbon emission and disposal of hazardous waste.
He further stated that the measures used in controlling the risks at Airtel were technical (fire engineering, equipment specification), procedural (safe system of work, JSA, PTW) and behavioral (training, awareness, HAZCOM).
Earlier, the safety professional noted that as critical as equipment were, the human element was important because “humans operate equipment”.
Therefore, he said, workers safety needed to be ensured in the telecom workplace for moral, legal and economic factors.
He stressed that a clearly-defined safety policy was instrumental to ensuring the safety of manpower and equipment.
“We have people that work on site. We interface with a lot of people. We deal with so many contractors that we cannot even keep track of…
“You need to have a clear defined policy, and it is important that your management is involved in setting up this policy,” he said.