Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday urged health, environment and safety practitioners, as well as enforcement agencies, to partner with government to ensure compliance with safety laws.
Ambode, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, said this in a keynote address at the 2015 Lagos State Safety Week (LASSWEEK) commemoration in Lagos.
The programme was organised by the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), with the theme: ‘Join in Building a Culture of Prevention in Occupational Health and Safety’.
He said that the partnership would go a long way to avert disasters and tragedies that ultimately traumatise victims and their family members.
“In recent times, incidents of building collapse, trailer-caused accidents, boat mishaps, fire and other avoidable accidents resulting from lack of adherence to safety laws have become rampant.
“These tragedies calls for concern. Time has come for stakeholders, including relevant government agencies to rise up to this challenge.
“It is not enough to have safety regulations, they must be enforced and complied with to prevent avoidable loss of lives, properties and injuries.
“As a government which cares about safety, nothing short of strict adherence to safety rules will be acceptable; relevant provisions of the law will be applied against erring individuals and organisations,” he said.
Dr Aderemi Desalu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, said that being safety conscious was a way of promoting peace and development in any society.
Desalu said that residents and organisations had a role to play in abiding by the State’s safety laws and regulations to ensure a hazard-free society and safety for all.
“We need to remind ourselves how important safety is, as most accidents take place due to negligence of safety.
“Utmost importance should be given to safety at all levels. It is essential to strictly adhere to usage of safety appliances by one and all,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Odebunmi Dominga, the Director-General of LSSC, said that safety, which was about the removal of hazards from the environment, was a collective effort.
Dominga said that the level of safety awareness in the State had increased from five per cent in 2011 to 44 per cent, through vigorous advocacy and sensitisation of the commission.
According to her, it is time that accounting for lives becomes more meaningful.
“Since the inception of the commission, we have been able to reduce incidence of accident in work places and schools.
“Our schools have scored 55 per cent safety awareness for safe schooling and protection of our children. Construction and manufacturing industries are also waking up to their safety obligations.
“Our state and country will be a better place, our socio-economic development and our environment will be more sustainable when everybody imbibes the culture of safety,” she said.
NAN reports that the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is marked every April 28 to create awareness on the need to embrace the culture of safety and prevent accidents at work.
The programme also featured the launching of the ‘Whistle Blow’ Initiative and the inauguration of Safety trained electricians in the State.
It also featured the presentation of ‘Safety Cards’ to stem fire accidents resulting from electrification and unskilled workmen.