Individuals and organisations whose activities increased awareness about Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) have been rewarded with plaques and certificates of excellence. It was at the maiden Nigerian Safety Award organised by Safety Record magazine held at the Oriental Hotels Lagos.

The aim of the award was to increase safety awareness among the citizens and at work places.

Industry professionals from local and multinational companies witnessed the event, where HSE practitioners and companies were honoured for initiating strategic actions and policies to prevent work-place accidents and occupational hazards.

The event began with a red-carpet session, where health and safety professionals interacted with the media on their activities in the past years.

Later, members of panel of judges, who are HSE experts from various professional bodies, including Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals (ISPON) and Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria (SOEHPON), among others, arrived.

Each of the judges has more than 20 years of experience in health, safety and environment.

The chairman of the judges’ panel, Dr. Bamisayo Olagbemi, said the award came at a time statutory framework was needed to revive safety culture in the country. Recognising efforts made by safety practitioners to reduce hazards in work places and public spaces, he said, would encourage more individual actions and organisational co-operation.

“There is power in recognition and compensation. If efforts of people and companies are being recognised and rewarded as it is being done today, such gesture will encourage them to initiate more actions to change the thinking of people and bring culture of safety to their consciousness,” he said.

Olagbemi, a public health and industrial hygiene expert, described the entries submitted by companies and the safety practitioners as impressive, noting that awareness about safety in industries could improve steadily if companies’ managements were rewarded for their support and co-operation.

The publisher of Safety Record, Alhaji Lateef Alebiosu, said the award would sustain the successes recorded and raise safety awareness among workers, with the aim of ensuring accident-free society. The honour would not only strengthen companies’ safety policies, Alebiosu said, it would also encourage actions that would enhance public safety and reduce the rate of occupational accidents recorded yearly.

He said increased awareness about safety and occupational hazards had caused government and companies’ managements to introduce drastic regulations to reduce rate of accidents in public space and industries.

He said: “Safety awareness has picked up in the country in period, compared with what we used to have some 20 years back. We still want to push up the level of awareness to ensure that everybody, including school children, housewives, market women, drivers, industry professionals and the road users, is conscious of the need to maintain safety in all endeavours.”

Highpoint of the event was presentation of awards, during which individuals and several organisations were adjudged to be the best in different fields.

Oando Nigeria Plc won the Best Practice in Oil and Gas (Upstream) Award, Exxon Mobil was adjudged the best in downstream sector, while Ikeja Electric won the award for the Best HSE Practice in Power Sector.

Also, Engr. Jamiu Badmos and Mrs Monica Nwosu won the awards for Health and Safety Champion. Many others, including organisations, were given commendation awards.

Badmos described the award as a reward for his professionalism, saying the feat would challenge him to do more to ensure safety in public arena and work places.



Credit: The Nation

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