From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The President of Occupational Safety and Health Association, Olusegun Aderemi, has lamented the poor handling of occupational hazards afflicting workers in both private and public sectors, noting that most victims die as a result of the nonchalant attitude of their companies.
While addressing newsmen recently in Abuja, Aderemi proposed a ban on companies undermining safety of workers, and further disclosed plans to raise about 2 million professionals to stage an aggressive campaign across the country on the importance of occupational safety awareness.
“We want to raise 2 million professionals that are champions for safety and also saving lives at the end of the day because life is very important. Safety is for everybody.
“When you are talking about foreign investors, they look at countries were there is safety.
“We will go to different sectors and train them. When you talk about the marine sectors we know those that are there. We will pick those we need to pick.
“Why are tankers falling off the road? It is either the vehicle is not well certified before getting to the road or the roads are bad. So many questions need to be asked.
“For the past 10 years we have seeing and we know where these problems are coming from and we have been addressing it.
“We are approaching the Presidency and the National Assembly, for a law and it would go to those places where we record fatality. It is going ti be a standing rules that will be fully implemented. It is in high gear and we are going to achieve it.
“The sanction would be outright banning for several years from practice. If you have a license it would be ceased because we are talking about lives.
“This sanction is something we really want to work on and fully be implemented by law enforcement agents as they work with us. We are not just going to enact a law without enforcement. It is going to be enforced.
“The issue of fine to us is like a child’s play. If you enjoy doing something and you are gaining from it you would not want to know the fines.
“Or when you are caught and you pay the fines it means you really know what you are doing. We do not want fine. We have outright ban. It is not to witch hunt anybody but to put rules in place,” he said.
Meanwhile, OSHAssociation Regional Administrator, Engr. Emmanuel Uwlaka, appealed to state governments to partner with the organisation, to drive home the message of occupational safety, especially with the provision of liaison offices in their states.
“Already we are doing a lot in terms of partnership with stakeholders. The Imo State government gave a liaison office and we appeal to other state governments to assist us in tackling issues of occupational hazard,” Uwalaka said.