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.
WHY DO PEOPLE DIE AT WORK
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.
HOW DO WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS OCCUR?
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,