Occupational safety and health is growing in Nigeria. This growth, although experts have said is slower than expected, is being fuelled principally by membership-based professional bodies in the industry. These professional bodies engage in safety advocacy, professional capacity building and intervention programmes in the country. They also engage as stakeholders with relevant government agencies to develop programmes and fine-tune policies in the area of safety and health administration.
Safety Record Newspaper brings you a list of the top safety and health professional bodies in Nigeria in no particular order.
- Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON)
The Institute of Safety Professional of Nigeria (ISPON) was established by ISPON Act 2014 (Act No. 2) as published in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 62 Vol.101 dated 20th May, 2014.
By virtue of the act, ISPON is the statutory body tasked with the regulation of safety management in Nigeria. Its primary responsibility includes the training, certification and discipline of safety professionals in Nigeria.
ISPON was inaugurated as the Nigerian Society of Safety Professionals (NSSP) in August 1980, at the end of the annual conference of the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria that year, when safety professionals representing member companies on the Nigeria Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria decided to form an association that would be available to offer professional technical advice to the NISCN as may be necessary.
In 1989, at an annual conference in Lagos, the name of the institute was changed from NSSP to Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals (NISP). The institute further underwent a name change in 2014, to become the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON).
- World Safety Organisation (WSO) National Office for Nigeria
World Safety Organisation (WSO) was formed in 1975 at a conference attended by over 1,000 delegates from 20 countries in Manila, Philippines. World Safety Organisation (WSO) is an international professional health, safety, security and environmental organisation established to help assure healthy and safe working conditions for organisations; providing training, education, research, and information related to the field of occupational, environmental, safety and health and also providing international membership.
The Nigeria Office of WSO was established on September 6, 2012. Since inception, WSO Nigeria has strived to localise her international motto (making safety a way of life) to the Nigeria populace, through several initiatives, in promoting health and safety.
WSO Nigeria has presence in Benin, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Warri and Ilorin, where it conducts health and safety training and consultancy services throughout the nation.
- American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Nigeria Chapter
ASSE Nigeria Chapter is a branch of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest safety professional body established in 1911. ASSE Nigeria Chapter (ASSE NC) was founded in June 23, 2007 at Orlando, Florida and a student section in April 22, 2010.
It is a voluntary, non-profit making Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) organisation providing professional guidance, training, consultancy and resources to the industrial and social sectors in different geographical areas in Nigeria.
ASSE NC currently has membership strength of over 398 members and is committed to the professional development of its members. To this end, the society regularly organises HSE workshop, international Professional Development Conferences (PDC), technical papers presentation during chapter meetings, seminars, and community outreach activities.
- Society for Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria (SOEHPON)
The Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria (SOEHPON) started in 1977 as Society of Occupational Medicine of Nigeria (SOMN). In 1989 its name was changed to Society of Occupation Health Physicians of Nigeria (SOHPON) and finally to its present name in 1997 to reflect current realities as regards the scope of practice of the profession of Occupational Health.
The aims and objectives of SOEHPON are to ensure promotion of the practice, learning and research in the field of Occupational and Environmental Health in Nigeria, in line with global best practice.
SOEHPON is accredited by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to award Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points. The Society is an affiliate member of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), African Regional Association on Occupational Health (ARAOH), and International Occupational Medicine Society Collaboratives (IOMSC).
In country, the Society is collaborating effectively with Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) to partner with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FMOE&E) and Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) for the purpose of promoting the practice, learning, research and development of Occupational Health and Safety in Nigeria.
The Society has current membership strength of about 120 professionals. Members cut across in country and the diaspora, mainly USA, UK and Canada-based Nigerian OH professionals.