By Mercy Omoike
The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the Nigerian Chapter, have called for the promotion and improvement of public safety in the country.
The group made the during its 8th Professional Development Conference (PDC) at the Sheraton hotel Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday.
The conference with the theme “Public Safety”: Making a Difference Through Awareness, Intervention and Compliance” addressed the need to tackle public safety issues in the workplace and at home.
Presenting the keynote address at the conference, The Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, represented by the GM Group Health, Safety Environment and Quality, Hussain Ali, commended the group’s consistent efforts to promote public safety in the country.
“ It is my honour to be part of this milestone event of the ASSP Nigeria Chapter. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to focus on public safety than now.
“ASSP has a key role to play in ensuring public safety through adopting safety measures and thoughtful practices that help in safeguarding best safety practices in the industries and society at large.
“ The current global health emergency of COVID-19 pandemic requires continuous awareness creation and compliance to non-pharmaceutical protocols such as wearing a facemask, frequent hand washing etc. among the preventive measures against the virus,” Kyari said.
According to the NNPC GMD, “Public health and safety play a vital and diverse role in our economy, well-being and social lives.
“NNPC has over the years recognised the importance of promoting best safety practices across all its business operations.
“I would like to commend the efforts of the ASSP leadership for organising this conference which will provide new safety improved measures for public and workplace safety.
On his part, the Managing Director, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Mr Tony Attah, represented by NLNG GM External Relations, Mrs Eyono Fatayi-Williams also harped on the need for public safety at all times.
“The century has witnessed great innovations and technological advancement and needs to be deliberate about public safety.
“Against this background it behooves on people who are drivers of technological innovations to develop and sustain safety cultures that shields people, assets, and the Environment from danger.
“We all have the responsibility to ensure our safety and the safety of others around us, the safety of the assets we use and the safety of our environment.
“We must all step up to take accountability for safety and to show care to each other by ensuring we do the right thing all times. We can all be safety champions who will not risk anyone’s life or cause harm.
“ We are expected to evaluate the safety challenges that confront us daily,” Attah noted.
In her welcome address, The ASSP Nigeria Chapter President, Mrs Mercy Omoifo-Irefo, noted that the promotion of public safety will in turn yield development in the country.
“ It is emphatic to state that safety has to be established before rapid development, hence we need to drastically move from being informed and progressive in our various organizations following safety laws and regulations.
“Safety awareness is still very low and needs to be addressed. Our existing laws and regulations need to be implemented, existing enforcement needs to be addressed and other possible measures we may come up with at this gathering.
“It is our collective responsibility as professionals to brainstorm on possible ways to make a difference through awareness programme like publication, media, training etc.,”Omoifo-Irefo said.
In an online address, Deborah Roy, the ASSP President lauded the Nigerian chapter on its excellence in promoting public safety in comparison to other chapters across the world.
“ The Nigerian Chapter of ASSP, is one of our society’s most active and engaged chapter of all our chapters all over the world.
“Public safety is very important following the event of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Roy said.
NAN reports that present at the conference were safety professionals from both the private and public sector. (NAN)