By Kate Obande-Okewu
Abuja – The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA-UK) has warned Nigerians to be watchful of any activities happening within their environment, saying most of the victims of the Lafia gas explosion were passerby and onlookers.
Mr Emmanuel Uwalaka, Nigeria Regional Administrator OSHA UK, gave this warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He attributed the Lafia gas explosion that killed scores of people to lack of safety awareness and training on parts of citizens and employers.
Uwalaka, who described the incident as a serious tragedy, said that there were principles and procedures that guide people in ensuring safety both at work places, homes and streets.
The safety expert urged Nigerians to keep off from fire accident scenes, if they were not providing solutions to avoid more casualties.
He noted that there was urgent need for training and re-training of members of staff of all organisations on safety measures to avoid fire incidents and other forms of work place hazards.
According to him, the fire incident at Lafia petrol station is a clear indication of lack of Self Safety Measures (SSM) within the citizens.
“There is the need to ensure safety in everyday life and a procedure and principles guiding it.
“Nigerians must learn how to act and behave safely when conducting their daily operations. We must start to take occupational safety very serious
“Few months ago, several vehicles got burnt after a petrol tanker explosion in Lagos due to safety negligence and lack of precautionary measures.
“Employers of labours must stop killing Nigerians.
“They are expected to train employees to be able to carry out risk assessments, while executing their tasks and control the work place hazards professionally,” Uwalaka said.
NAN recalled that Monaco Gas Station in Lafia was razed on Monday at about 10a.m. when a tanker off loading the liquified gas had a leakage and went up in flames.
NAN also recalled that Mr Dogara Dalhatu, the Chief Fire Officer of the Nasarawa State Fire Service, attributed the incident to a spark around the vicinity, where the gas was being discharged.