. . . as Geocardinal CEO task operators on adherence to safety rules
In conjunction with Geocardinal Engineering Services, the Council of Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG) has kick-started a seven-day Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) training program for extractive industry professionals, a development that is expected to impact the quality of services in the industry.
The Chairman of COMEG, Dr Godspower Ebimotimi Okpoi who charged industry professionals to take maximum advantage of the training, pledged the commitment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to the development of the industry, stating that “the need for continuous training on HSE in the extractive industry cannot be over-emphasised.
Dr Okpoi said HSE is not only pivotal but also critical to the day-to-day running of activities in mining, quarrying, mineral processing and water drilling activities, adding that successful HSE programs can eliminate accidents, injuries and death in the workplace while improving the overall well-being of workers.
He said in view of the increase in activities in the minerals sector, caused by policy reforms of the administration in line with the quest to diversify the economy, the training on Health, Safety and Environment have become imperative.
Dr Okpoi said: “If the mining sector is to adequately contribute to the National Gross Domestic Product, extractive industry professionals must remain healthy and safe in their workplaces, while the environmental impact of extractive industry activities must be properly managed for long term sustainability.”
The Ag. Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of COMEG, Mr Ogunmola Johnson who explained that one of the thrusts of COMEG is the continuous training of professionals in relevant topical areas of the extractive industry, said that one of the goals for the sector is to train and strengthen manpower for safe and qualitative delivery of services in the industry. He said “it is expected that with quality training program for our professionals, the extractive industry will benefit in terms of manpower and service delivery.”
Discussing the modules for the training, the Ag Registrar said the training is tailored to address various aspects of Health, Safety and Environment such as overview of the Nigeria extractive industry and the hazards associated with practice, identification of hazards, risk assessment and controls, legal issues, resources, roles, responsibility accountability and authority, competence, training and awareness, communication, participation and consultation, operational control. Others areas covered by the training are emergency preparedness and response, performance measuring, monitoring and improvement among others.
The CEO, Geocardinal Engineering Services, Engr Titilope Adeyemo stressed the need for continuous professional development in the Nigeria extractive industry, stating that HSE cannot be overemphasised especially now that the sector is bustling with activities following the federal government’s commitment to economic diversification.
While saying that his organisation will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the set goal, he charged local and foreign operators to prioritize the safety of workers, saying that every worker should be considered as a breadwinner whose life is precious his or her dependents.
“So operators must put safety first, they must ensure that the life of workers are safe in the workplace,” he said, adding that operators who fail to guarantee minimum safety standards must be sanctioned in the interest of the well-being of workers and the sector.
Emphasizing the need for private sector operators to provide Peoples Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers, Engr Adeyemo said: “It is a two-way rule: quarry owners must provide prescribed safety wears while the workers must correctly wear the safety materials.”
He commended the Arc Adegbite leadership of the ministry for the effort to entrench professionalism in the mining sector.