By Victoria Onehi
With a view to achieving the protection of workers in the iron and steel industry from workplace hazards, the Metallurgical Inspectorate & Raw Materials Development (MI&RMD) Department, has organised Safety Workshop for Steel Producers, Fabricators, Metal Industry Operation, Corrugators and Artisans in the Steel and other Metal Sector.
Declaring the Workshop opened on Wednesday in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Steel Development/Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Mary A. Ogbe, noted that the Workshop which is first in the series of engagements is aimed at promoting safety awareness and compliance with safety guidelines in the metal sector of the country.
Dr. Ogbe who was represented by the Director Human Resources Management of the Ministry, Mohammed Suleiman Kabir,MNI, said without being safe and in good health while operating in the metals and Steel sector, the enormous prospects in the sector would not be achieved.
According to her, the principle of “Safety First, Safety Always” is to prevent accidents from happening by promoting safe work practices and procedures. She noted that accidents and injuries do not only harm people but also disrupt business operations, leading to financial losses and causing many families to suffer.
In a statement by the Ministry, Dr. Ogbe disclosed that the Ministry is committed to ensuring zero accidents, zero near misses, zero first aid incidents, zero hazards, zero unsafe acts, zero unsafe conditions, and ultimately zero harm.
She urged operators to prioritise safety measures, that will ensure that everyone returns home safely every day.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, Ibrahim Yusufu Idris who was represented by the Deputy Director, Environmental Assessment Department, Shittu Hussain, expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Steel Development for organising the Safety Workshop, noting that it was the Ministry of Environment’s mandate to protect the Nigerian environment by ensuring that operations are carried out with regard to keeping the environment protected.
In his remarks, the DG/CEO, National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, NSRMEA, Kaduna, Kolawole Ogunbiyi, said the workshop couldn’t have come at a better time than now as the Federal Government plan to revamp the steel sector.
Also, President, Manufacturer Association of Nigeria, MAN, Otunba Francis Meshioye represented by Lekan Edunjobi, described the theme of the workshop apt as it concerns the health and safety, adding that it was imperative to prioritise the wellbeing of the workforce and prevent hazards.
Earlier, the Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Materials Development (MI&RMD) Department, Engr. Frederick Ewa,said to achieve the Presidential Mandate in the Steel Sector, safe working procedures must be guaranteed. He implored employers to make the health and safety of their employees top priority in the steel and metals industry.
Engr. Ewa noted that the industry requires safe working measures as workers face many risks on the job, adding that the goal of the Workshop was to ensure that every type of operation and process in the metal industry is made accident-free.