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‘How to protect labour force, prevent incidents, work-related illnesses’


With industrial developments being undertaken in the country, especially in the oil and gas, power utility and construction industry, there is a need to urgently protect the workforce, prevent incidents or work-related illnesses, experts have said.
According to them, industrial development comes with inherent risks and hazards. Hence, the need to help Nigeria from becoming a victim of what is called ‘the curse of industrial development’, is imperative.
The environmental, health and safety experts, during a courtesy visit to the ongoing construction of Dangote Refinery in Lagos, said safety of workers must be ensured always in the course of industrial development in the country.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EHS GRADES International, Samuel Oyewole, said: “We have been to different refineries around United States and the world in terms of safety, when our attention was drawn to the Dangote project on refinery, which is considered upon completion the largest single-train refinery in the world, it was a thing of pride for Nigeria.
“At EHS we are looking at how we can provide our support to the activities going on in the refinery. Our focus is to enable businesses to better understand how to protect their workers as well as the environment around them,” he said.

Oyewole said refinery is one of the top trade of industrial facility that anyone can embark on, it comes with a lot of challenges. A single human error or failure in system in the refinery could lead to a very devastating and catastrophic effect.
“With the mind-set of enabling the awareness in local environment in Nigeria especially that has not been used to that type of magnitude of such industrial operation comes with a lot of unseen risks and hazards. From the conceptualisation phase all the way through constructions into operations, he added.
Oyewole said as part of its visit to the refinery and Nigeria at large its strategic goal is to help businesses improve their bottom line and reduce their incident rates by as much as 70 per cent over the next three years, amounting to about $500 billion in cost savings.
He said when workplace illnesses, injuries, accidents and other types of losses are prevented, everyone wins!
Also speaking, Board Member and Executive Advisor, EHS GRADES International, Dr Regina Lewis, said training is one of the most important elements of a successful environmental health and safety project. There are different group of people that needs to understand training at different levels.

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