Sanwo-Olu says work-related injuries, ill health rising in Nigeria


THE Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday expressed concern with the rise in work-related injuries and ill health in the country.

Sanwo-Olu said this at a conference organised by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), in Lagos, with support from Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, (CIBN), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) among others.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the conference had as its theme: “Shaping the Future of Occupational Safety and Health in West Africa”.

Sanwo-Olu said: “In Nigeria, we don’t have the figure of many work-related accidents, but we have an estimated figure because a lot of people shy away from reporting.

“Under reporting is a big issue that we face and I know that also applies to all other African countries.

“But, an average cause of work-related injuries and ill health in Nigeria is estimated at 4.3 per cent, which is higher than the internationally accepted average,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu, represented by Dr Kuburat Layeni-Adeyemo, Director, Occupational Health Service, added that apart from under reporting, there was lack of adequate partners to chat a doable road map for occupational safety and health.

He stressed that workplace health and safety which had become major concerns for employees were the reason there were lots of internal complaints.

According to him, statistics tell us that about two million people are killed by their work every year and an estimated 60 million people have work-related diseases.

The governor said this could be prevented if regulators and stakeholders defined clearly their roles and responsibilities regarding occupational health and safety.

The Executive Director, Special Duties of IOSH, Engr Jamiu Badmos, said while speaking on the “Trajectory of Operational Health and Safety”, urged government to look into the issue of occupational ill health and solve the problems.

According to him, occupational ill health is killing more people in Nigeria than occupational safety.

“(No fewer than) 7,500 million are dying daily due to unhealthy conditions, out of which occupation ill health that we usually forget in Nigeria is taking more numbers than even occupational safety, data and reporting.

“As a country in Nigeria and West Africa, how many governments are looking into the Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 8 which talk about health and safety?” he said.

Badmos urged regulators and stakeholders to talk more about SDG goals as they had more roles to play in transforming businesses.

The Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, said the commission had come up with an action plan that would ensure the safety of citizens in the state.

“We are doing that through a 4E program which is Evaluation of Risk, Education, Engagement and Enforcement.

“These 4E initiatives will cover and ensure that the people of Lagos are safe.

“So, we will deploy, jointly with stakeholders and partners, to ensure that we do our beats,” he said.

The Head of Strategic Engagement, IOSH, Mr Alan Stevens, said his organisation would support Nigeria to ensure the people had the best working conditions.

“So we are supporting the government with helping them craft the best laws possible, policies, procedures, and we are working with the inspectors to make sure they have the skills and the powers to enforce the laws.

“We are working with industry leaders here in Nigeria who are really passionate about improving the conditions for their employees as well as our members and the professionals here to train them and educate,” he said.

Earlier, the National Coordinator, IOSH Nigeria, Mr Dapo Omolade, said the conference was a major driver for regulatory bodies to create awareness and advocacy for health and safety.

“The situation in Nigeria for many years has been lack of knowledge. But presently, with all the advocacies especially, this voice of IOSH in Nigeria, it will give additional back up and push to what we have been doing in Nigeria in trying to bring safety to the table for everyone to understand,” he said. (NAN)

– Jan. 22, 2020 @ 17:35 GMT |

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