‘Poor Safety Policies Hampering Businesses’

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    Raheem Akingbolu

    Lack of proper safety policies is constituting huge threat to businesses and the nation’s economy, an expert has stated.

    The Chief Executive Officer of Surveillant Fire Limited, Mr. Jumade Adejola, who disclosed this in Lagos, also stressed the need for individuals, corporate organisations and governments to give utmost attention to safety for growth of the nation’s economy.

    To this end, Adejola called on government and agencies to lead by example and invest in safety apparatus to forestall avoidable fire accidents. He also advised manufacturing companies to equip their premises with firefighting equipment to guide against disasters.

    While attributing some of the fire incidents and other emergencies witnessed in some parts of the country, in the last few years to lack of proper safety precautions and adequate facilities to respond to emergencies, the expert expressed concerns that despite the increase in the number of high-rise buildings in the nation’s cities, adequate facilities that could be used to respond to accidents and emergencies, are not on ground.

    He therefore stressed the need for stakeholders in the industry to make fire service engineers a key part of the building process, noting that such involvement would go a long way in averting some fire incidents and accidents, occasioned by lack of proper planning,
    thereby saving the nation’s economy of some avoidable pains.

    According to him, to further sensitise the public on the need to reduce accidents both in private and public places, some stakeholders in the sector, would be holding an enlightenment programme, tagged, “Vision Zero,” that seeks to reduce the rate of accidents to the minimum level, in Nigeria.
    “Vision Zero was a programme that emanated from the Singapore World Safety Conference 2017. It is a vision geared towards total elimination or great reduction of accidents. For instance, if the total percentage of accidents that occur in a year is 60, Vision Zero
    seeks to reduce it to 10 per cent.

    “This we hope to achieve by increasing the level of awareness and safety precaution. For instance, in the case of high-rise buildings, imagine if everyone takes safety precautions, seriously, there would be minimum accidents. But unfortunately, what we are seeing now is
    springing up of high-rise buildings without the key area of safety, factored into the building process,” he added.

    While advocating for the sitting of emergency centres in the entire local government areas of the federation, the fire service expert added that governments at the state and local levels could partner with corporate organisations in their areas to enhance the smooth running of such centres.

    “There are private organisations willing to set up these centres as part of their corporate social responsibilities (CSR). Government only needs to be proactive to make such things happen,” he added.