The 13th International Safety Conference and Award 2023 had participants from top government officials, dedicated professionals, experts, and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

The conference started with a safety briefing led by Mr. Ehimikhuai A. Harrison, MOSHA the Chief of Staff to the Country Regional Administrator of OSHAssociation Nigeria Region. Following this was a brief introduction of OSHAssociation UK Nigeria Region given by Dr. Aliyu Mohammed Ibrahim, FOSHA the Country Regional Administrator of the Association.

The conference gathered over 300 attendees, including representatives from various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Federal Government, including private organisations. It was a robust engagement of intellectuals, scholars, and experts in the field of Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE).

The welcome address was given by HRH Dr. Amb. Olusegun Aderemi, FOSHA the regional president OSHAssocitaion Nigeria Region. He expressed his gratitude to everyone for coming and further urged professionals to give proper attention to health and safety management in their organisations because employees’ lives have no duplicate.

This was followed by speeches, which were given by the Honourable Minister of Sport Development, who was represented by Mr. Kabiru Yusuf. He recognise the importance of safety in the realm of sports, the Honourable Minister of Solid Mineral Development, and also the Honourable Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Comfort Adeosun, Director of Service Welfare to the Permanent Secretary Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. All made their remarks in line with the theme of the event.

This was followed immediately by goodwill messages, which were given by the following dignitaries: Dr. Dalhatu Mohammed Ahmed (FOSHA), Chairman Council of Fellows OSHAssociation UK-Nigeria Region; Els William, Director OSHAssociation Begium Region; Engr. Adebayo Zacheus Abiola, acting Director of FCT Fire Service and Engr Dr. Emmanuel Uwalaka, Executive Director OSHAssociation Middle East and Africa Region.

During the conference, there was a panel discussion on the topic “Challenges and Strategies of Maintaining a Positive Safety Culture in the Workplace.” The discussion was led by Dr. Chris Mitchell Osazuwa, FOSHA who shared valuable insights on fostering a safety-oriented work environment. Representatives from various industries and MDAs of government shared valuable concerns, insights, and best practices in safety management.

 The conference also featured several informative presentations led by Prof. Rabiu Abdussalam Magaji, FOSHA who delivered a keynote paper titled “Accelerating Health and Safety Management Systems: Establishing and Maintaining a Positive Safety Culture.

At the conference, awards of commitment were also presented to organisations that have made significant contributions to the National Safety Advocacy Project (NSAP), which was initiated by the Association in 2021 to address the challenges of proactive safety awareness and ensure federal government involvement in driving the safety best practices in Nigeria starting from 2021 to 2023. Furthermore, the Regional President, HRH Amb. Dr. Olusegun Aderemi unveiled Phase 2 of the National Safety Advocacy Project, which will be implemented from 2024 to 2026. The project aims to further enhance and improve safety awareness and compliance level in the public and private organizations in the country.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After the fruitful deliberations at the Conference, the following recommendations were made:

  1. The Federal Government should look into the enforcement of OSH regulations and laws, by passing the OSH Bill into Law, which will help organisation adhere to the prescribed standards and face consequences for non-compliance.
  2. Private and Government organisation should create a work environment that prioritises the safety and health of employee by establishing a strong safety culture which can be achieved through regular training, clear communication of safety policies, and encouraging employee participation in safety initiatives.
  3. Government should Implement Robust Safety Management Systems that encompass risk assessment, hazard identification, incident reporting, and corrective action procedures. Regularly reviewing and updating these systems to ensure they remain effective and aligned with industry best practices.
  4. Private and public organisations should resuscitate and strengthen the existing partnership with OSHAssociation to collaborate, coordinate and cooperate to implement robust safety practices to improve overall productivity in the workplace
  5. All OSH Desk Officers from MDAs are encouraged and advised to equip themselves with safety and health knowledge in order to efficiently carry out their roles, and also relate their concerns to OSHAssociation for assistance.
  6. Organisation should encourage their employee involvement in safety and health initiatives by encouraging their active participation and as well establishing safety committees or teams that include representatives from different departments or work areas.
  7. Private and public organisations should provide adequate resources and support by allocating sufficient resources, including financial, human, and technological resources, to support the implementation and maintenance of safety and health management systems. This includes providing necessary safety equipment, tools, and training materials to employees.
  8. Organisations are encouraged to foster open communication channels by establishing effective communication for employees to report safety concerns, near-misses, and incidents without fear of reprisal.
  9. The OSH Desk Officers in various MDAs should be up and doing on the issue of best safety practices by focusing on advocacy, sensitisation, and implementation of the programmes and laws in order to save the lives and properties of its citizens and its overall productivity.
  10. Professional Continuous Development is key to ensuring effective safety management system, therefore; OSHAssociation is ready for collaboration and partnership to ensure proactive awareness of OSH best practices.

Appreciation

Participants at the 13th International Safety Conference and Awards 2023 Conference expressed profound gratitude to the Occupational Safety and Health Association UK Nigeria-Region for hosting such an important event and for providing them with valuable education centered around the theme “Accelerating safety and health management systems to improve productivity in the workplace.” They recognized the cruciality of prioritizing safety and health in order to enhance overall productivity and create a conducive work environment.

 

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