Safety Is A Key Factor For All Workplaces – Engr Abubakar Aliyu

The Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu has reiterated that in order to promote the wellness of both employees and contractors in the ministry, safety is a key factor in all construction sites.

 The Minister made this assertion at the opening ceremony of a two day workshop on Specialized Health and Safety, Training for Engineers/Officers of the Federal Ministry of Works in collaboration with the Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSH Association UK Nigeria – Region with the theme  “Safety First in the Construction Site) on Thursday 22nd October 2020 in the Ministry.Abubakar Aliyu, who was ably represented by the Director Human Resources Management, Umar Utono stated that the objective of the workshop was to equip the engineers and field officers in the ministry with the knowledge and skills that will help them discharge their duties in the worksites and ensure safety of workers during construction activities in the country.

Continuing he said that at the end of the workshop, the Engineers and officers would be equipped with the necessary knowledge and managerial skills to supervise construction sites without risk of accidents.
The Minister noted that one major factor responsible for accidents and deaths at workplaces was poor safety attitudes of workers, contractors and supervisors in charge of projects. 

He said improving safety at worksites had now become government priority to ensure change of attitudes of workers and contractors working at sites.According to him, globally over 63,000 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work related illnesses while 317 million accidents occur on the job annually.  He stated that the global statistics by the International Labour Organization (ILO) were worrisome and the government is committed to reducing accidents and fatality rates in construction sites.

The Minister disclosed that the Ministry would like to partner with professional institutions like Occupational Safety and Health Association UK – Nigeria Region being one of the leading organizations in the field of Occupational Safety & Health that strive to achieve the mandate of the Ministry towards zero fatalities at worksites. 

 He requested OSHA to work closely with the relevant Departments of the Ministry on capacity building and training of staff on Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE)Aliyu pledged government total commitment towards implementing safety best practices in every activity of the Ministry.

Earlier in his opening remark, the Director of Engineering Services, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Julius Olunrinola said the Ministry have stepped up inspections and enforcement actions hence the need to deploy safety Engineers/Officers to all construction sites to enforce HSSE Policy.

Also speaking at the event is the President of OSH Association UK – Nigeria Region, Dr. Dahatu Mohammed who affirmed that safety was fundamental, basic and everyone’s business.  He added that this safety workshop was very important to the Ministry as 90% of work done by the Ministry is basically construction.  

The creation of awareness to workers is meaningful to be able to achieve zero accidents in construction sites.Safety tips were highlighted by the Deputy Director, Central Workshop & Equipment Unit, Engr. Augustine Okwudiafor, as follows: In time of emergency –    Do not panic, Stop all you are doing, Leave calmly at the pace of the person in front of you, Do not use the lift, Assemble at the designated muster point.

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