By Oge Obi
The Nigerian Institution of Safety Engineers (NISE), an arm of Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) has said that given the rising need for improved safety standards in the country, the professional association, is set out to provide unique professional safety solutions to the Nigerian environment.
Briefing journalists in Lagos recently on the association’s 2017 conference, with a theme: “Assuring Public Safety in Nigeria: The Roles of Safety Engineers” the NISE Chairman, Engr. Adeyemi Oyedepo said that the safety association is out to tackle safety issues from the starting point of every engineering project. According to him, Nigerian safety engineers have come together to ensure that safety considerations and measures are imbedded in every engineering project right from the design level to installation and maintenance and should be handled by the engineers.
Stating that Nigeria is not yet a safety paradise, Oyedepo hinted that only one association cannot take the country to that level. And that the association is committed to promoting engineering excellence and professionalism.
Enumerating some of the NISE 2017 conference targets, Oyedepo said, “The event is meant to generate more awareness on the roles of safety engineers in assuring the safety of the public in Nigeria and how they are critical partners to government, government agencies, industries as well as private sector organisations in the country.
Noting the distinctiveness of NISE operations, he said, “Safety cuts across all strata of our lives though in varying degrees. It is however universal. We are aware that there are many safety organisations in Nigeria, but we are concerned with eliminating engineering-related risk from the point of project design. We came to complement and not to compete with them. We intend to provide leadership, promote engineering excellence and professionalism as we hit the ground as a professional association.
“We will be doing that with a very high sense of responsibility with ethical values as the major consideration.
“We will add robustly to improve safety standards. And just like our counterparts in India, Britain, the US, and other safety conscious countries, we have decided to congregate and harness their skills to further enhance safety in Nigeria. he assured.
Speaking further, Oyedepo reiterated the need for Nigeria to tackle engineering safety from the drawing boards. According to him, in a meeting the association had with the NNPC team, “we told them why tankers from abroad don’t catch fire when they fall down unlike the ones built in Nigeria. The reason is because they do not have safety design inbuilt in them. And they can only be done by safety engineers. This is where the difference is, he said.
On uniqueness of the association, a member of the conference planning committee, Engineer Kayode Fowode said that “most of the organisations we have in Nigeria promote operational health and safety. We are here to collaborate with the safety associations and actually fill the gaps in terms of engineering designs.
What we are saying is that safety starts from the design. You cannot start implementing safety when the structure has been built. Ours is mostly concerned with eliminating risk right from the design stage. We are going to focus more on engineering solutions to safety issues that might have impact on the public generally.
“In the recent past, we have been faced with the problem of flooding, building collapses, fire disasters. What we are saying is that there solution providers.
Speaking also, Engr. Dr. Joy Nwaoko said that building collapse, flooding and other engineering-related problems facing the country today would not have been had safety considerations are taken ab initio. “Before now, the society didn’t know much about safety engineers. So, we will be achieving great awareness and for people to know that there are safety issues that have their routes in engineering.”
According Engr. Femi Ogunseitan, NISE is out to partner with the government, private sector operators and all relevant stakeholders towards creating a safer environment.
“We have visited a lot Nigerian regulatory authorities including the Minister of Labour and Productivity, the DPR, NPA, NIMASA, NERC, NNPC, TCN, Chevron. We discussed on the ways to partner with them to improve, sensitise and enlighten the public much more on safety engineering. Basically, there is safety practices in the country but what we are is that from the conception of the design, we want an increased activity of safety engineerss, Ogunseitan said.