Skip to main content


Workplace accidental deaths and injuries are a worrisome feature to nations and organization worldwide. International Labour Organization, ILO, estimates that there are as many as 2.2m fatalities occurring yearly across the globe. In Nigeria, it is common knowledge that hundreds, if not thousands of workers fail to return home yearly from work due to accidents which could’ve have been prevented if the right safety systems were deployed.

That the nation is the ultimate loser in these unwanted events is an understatement. For every person lost or maimed at work, the family, organization and country suffers irrecoverable loss, whether it be the family losing a bread winner, the factory an experienced hand or the nation taking a loss in taxes accruable to her. Workplace safety is therefore an issue that demands and should be given the utmost attention and focus by the individual employee, employer and the government of the day. A thriving economy is a safe economy as exemplified by the industrialized nations as well as the most profitable multi-national corporations of this world.


People die or are seriously injured at work because:

·         We’ve chosen to handle dangerous processes to produce goods and services for the comfort of our people

·         We’ve chosen to handle dangerous chemicals for the same reason

·         We’ve chosen to make a living that way because we’ve accepted the salary or wages as adequate and fair compensation for our efforts

As long as we choose to handle these things the potential for harm to people in the workplace will always exist. Next logical step should be to challenge ourselves as to how we can prevent or reduce them to acceptable levels because it is possible.


They occur when there is:

·         An unauthorized deviation from normal practice

·         Unauthorized change to process, material input or personnel

·         Uncontrolled exposure to energy source or chemical

·         Failure of built-in controls, barriers, etc,



Popular posts from this blog


There are pep talks and there are pep talks.

Over the years, I've had the privilege of observing pep talks all day long on seismic crews, construction sites, production platforms, processing plants, wire line, drilling operations, rig moves and so on. But not once have I left not feeling maybe the crew could have done better with the shape and content of the core messages thereof. This is because I am of the view that safety messages are only helpful if they are clear and to the point, with little or no ambiguity, if any at all. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Now 5-minutes is not a great deal of time for even the most gifted and skillful of speakers to nail  home  the key safety dos and don'ts of the job soon to commence. So most of these talks frequently average out to be sing songs and prayerful affairs in the end, with generalized 'messages' like be 'your brother's keeper', 'safety is everybody's business', 'you all know what…


Any accident is money down the drain, pure and simple. No two ways about it.

So I am pained and amused at the same time whenever I hear people chuckling that what 'happened' to them was 'nothing' because 'NOTHING' happened. The NOTHING being a reference to the fact that the incident occasioned no injury or apparent damage. How interesting? Interesting because that kind of talk or line of thinking can only get you into some BIGGER trouble in due course if you do not begin to rethink the way you see things soon enough.

Now consider that even for a near miss incident, which roughly translates to an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage - but had the potential to do so - there are costs. They may not be apparent but they sure are there, quietly chipping away at your business bottom line. To illustrate: imagine that your construction site employees are beavering away with gusto, chasing the next milestone, when a 'Tech' on the fif…


In 'ACCIDENT IS MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN', we tried illustrating  how a NOTHING HAPPENED near miss incident of a hammer accidentally slipping off a technician's grasp, falling through a considerable height and landing safely between two busy foremen, with no damage to property or injury to anyone on site resulted in so much useful production time loss. A conservative computation of the time-cost estimate showed what seemed to be a 'harmless' incident costing the site company management a hefty 3.4 Man-Days lost time in direct costs! The exercise ended without considering the 'POTENTIAL' of the occurrence.

'POTENTIAL' simply refers to the probability of a much more consequential outcome by chance or slightly altered circumstances given the number of people exposed to the threat at the time. This is usually what constitutes the difference between a 'NOTHING HAPPENED' incident, a disabling/ serious property damage one or a fatality. That the people…