By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
Leading energy conglomerate, Sahara Group has called for increased stakeholder collaboration towards achieving sustained awareness campaigns and interventions that will enhance workplace safety and health across the globe.
Adeniyi Ige, Safety Manager at Sahara Group, said employers and employees need to adopt a unified approach to safety and health issues to safeguard lives and drastically reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
Ige said as the world marks another Safety and Health at Work Day on April 28, the focus must be on how increasing investment and participation of all stakeholders can make Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and SDG 8, to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
“Workplace safety and health issues must be seen as everyone’s business and should be instutionalised in a manner that makes everyone’s involvement crystal clear. The International Labour Organisation estimates that about 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents annually, while lost work days globally represent almost 4% of the world’s GDP. This trend highlights the need for a systemic approach to effective management of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) concerns at work. We must all make safety first a way of life within and outside the workplace,” he said.
Ige said collaboration, investment and adoption of technology would help achieve timely identification and monitoring of health and safety hazards within the workplace; train employees to minimize and/or avoid any risks associated with their jobs; review health and safety legislation to ensure compliance with the most recent standards; perform safety inspections of the workplace environment and write workplace-specific safety policies and best practices.
He added: “It is essential for businesses to have consistent OSH awareness programmes and interventions that are proactive and tailored to address existing and potential safety and health issues in the workplace. From obvious hazards like banana peels to potential power surges and mental health issues, the OSH approach focus must be holistic, collaborative, and relentless. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses shows that the world needs to be prepared always to take on workplace safety and health issues to safeguard global economic development and prosperity.”
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated by the International Labor Organization (ILO) annually on 28th April as an awareness-raising campaign to promote the prevention of accidents and diseases at work globally. It gives international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.