In Lagos Expert calls for more safety in construction sites

Abiodun said many operators were emphasising costs, but “safety is not an expense, it is an investment of unquantifiable value”.

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Construction workers play

Construction workers

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Mr Gbolahan Abiodun , a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) expert, has advised operators in the construction industry to be more conscious of their safety at construction sites.

He said effective safety system was crucial to viability and reputation of the construction industry.

Abiodun, a Past President of Nigeria Chapter of American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said that implementation of HSE in the construction industry was a concern since getting industry operators to embrace effective HSE in their operations had been a difficult task.

Abiodun said many operators were emphasising costs, but “safety is not an expense, it is an investment of unquantifiable value”.

“When there is an accident at a construction site, investigation will commence, work will be delayed and financial institutions will have more reasons to shy away from financing real estate businesses."

“The builder will even have to compensate the families involved and might be fined by the government,” he said.

According to him, government agencies and HSE professionals have a major role to play in ensuring that construction industry operators are aware and embrace HSE compliance for accident free project delivery.

He said that the enforcement of safety regulations was not widespread within the industry, adding that many artisans at construction sites were oblivious of the dangers posed by their practice.

“More construction workers are killed, injured or suffer ill health than in any other industry and it is disheartening that such occur despite several efforts towards improving the health and safety status of the industry."

“Increases in the number of accidents both reported and unreported on construction sites still go unabated,” he said.

The expert said that the accidents were attributable to lack of effective monitoring, reporting and control practices in the industry.

According to the expert, globally, average of 245 people die at work each year, while 30,000 sustain serious workplace injuries each year.

He said that 25,000 persons left the workforce yearly due to injuries sustained at work caused by unsafe acts, omissions, mechanical failure and accidents described as acts of God.

Abiodun therefore said that understanding and management of risk in construction operation and compliance to Government Agency Health and safety Requirements would reduce the incidents of collapsed building and accident related incidents.

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