Daily, about 6,000 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases which cumulates to more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It holds today, April 28th and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.
As we celebrate the World Day for Health and Safety at Work today, MCIU Communications had a chat with two university staff on safety.
Kenneth Anyogu is the Facility Manager at Michael and Cecilia Ibru University (MCIU)
Oscar Ogbakpan for MCIU Media and Communication Unit (OO)
OO: What do you have to say about the World Day for Safety and Health at Work Celebration?
KA: Well it is a good thing for the world to recognize that there is need for safety at work.it means that the interest of the employees is at heart. Because the employee are in danger most of the time.
There was once a time in Lagos, in a factory where an employee had is apron caught by a machine and it dragged the man till he died. You find out that if there was a precaution put in place. It would not have happen.
Somebody thought of the employees and decided to start this world day for safety and health at work.
OO: What are the best practices for safety at work place?
KA: if I say there is a best practice it may be a lie because every environment is dynamic. At the construction site, a carpenter who is climbing a roof is expected to wear a helmet and a belt attached to a ladder or a place so that when he his falling he has something to support him.
But when you come to the office what are the things you do. In the university circle for example, you know we have students, we have other staffs and the university is a community there are other people who are coming in and going out on a daily basis so there is need for you to put checks from the gate of the university.
For instance ordinary signs at the gate all the way round would direct the students and visitors to where he or she is going. That helps the individual not to stray to where there may be danger.
Look at the issue of fire, fire can occur at any point in time. Recently somebody said something about you leaving your socket plug to the wall. You might not be there and you experience fire from that socket.
For instance in the office even with our phones you need to be careful because anything can happen.
Like here in MCIU, one of the things we do is that we make sure that every floor of entire buildings have fire extinguisher so that if fire occur we just use them.
We also need to organizes safety training from time to time to create awareness
OO: what can we do to prevent occupational accident at workplace.
KA: This is a developing university we are building every day. Before anyone should be given a Job, the person should be checked to determine if the person is healthy enough to do that job. You need to check the physical fitness of the person as well.
You provide all the necessary safety gadgets. If you see the pictures of this building you will discover that every single worker had safety helmet on.
OO: What do you think is the way forward for safety at work?
KA: The way forward in Nigeria is that there must be enactment of laws with penalty.
From the foundation, we should introduce safety training from the nursery, primary, secondary up to the university in school to help our kids to become safety compliant. Each Individual should also know that they all have a role to play.
Dr.Uche Celestina Chidinma is the Medical Doctor at Michael and Cecilia Ibru University(MCIU)
OO: How challenging has it been for you as a Medical Doctor?
UC: It has been challenging but interesting.the first thing in any profession is that there should be room for growth.its my first time in a university system. I have worked in a Mission house,teaching hospital. But right here is a twist because i am not just a medical doctor but also like an admin personnel but it has been interesting thus far.
OO: What are the things we can do to stay healthy?
UC: We must eat well and not just eating but eating the right quantity in the right proportion.
Like in the hospital for example we should make sure we are always on gloves when working and also taking procedures the way we dispose our waste
Regular exercise is good for the body it helps to keep you in shape and also drinking alot of water too helps out.
OO: How often should people check their health status?
UC: They should always be a regular checkup at all times.for example when you get into a new organization they would require you to have a background check on your Medical history to see if you are fit for the job. So it is compulsory you go for checkup to see how stable you are and if you are not you get the necessary medications for your body system.
OO: Thank you for your time.
UC: Thank you!