The Lagos State Government has urged firms in the manufacturing, oil and gas, construction, chemical and allied industries to ensure proper handling and storage of chemicals capable of causing health and environmental hazards to members of the public.
Speaking at the international seminar on handling of flammable hazardous materials organized by Lagos State Safety Commission in conjunction with MTC Enterprise LTD and Laboratory and Scientific Equipment Company (LASEC), Ketu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Dr. Jemilade Longe said flammable materials can be quite hazardous where less attention is paid to the movement of chemicals.
He stated that movement and handling of chemicals are risk-associated hence the need for organisations who utilise such chemicals to be safety conscious and familiar with its negative effects.
He said the Lagos State Government, being responsible and responsive, places a huge priority on creating public awareness safety within the work and home environment.
Longe maintained that various safety programmes embarked upon by the Commission portray the desire of the government to make safety consciousness a culture among Lagosians, which will, in turn, reduce or eliminate hazardous incidents across the State.
While expressing confidence that the seminar will improve the attitude of chemical handling companies positively, he urged participants to extend knowledge from the seminar to colleagues, friends and relatives.
In his remarks, the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Hakeem Olaogun Dickson commended the stakeholders of industries for cooperating with Government in its drive to ensure that every sector of the society is sanitised and safe for all.
He pointed out that despite the great benefits of chemicals to the society, they can equally be very detrimental to human health and life at large, assuring that the zero-tolerance safety campaign will be reinvigorated to drastically reduce fire outbreaks, ensure safekeeping of chemicals and promote safety in residences, schools and workplaces across the State.
The West African Regional Manager of Laboratory and Scientific Equipment Company (LASEC), South Africa, Mr. Victor Menezes, who presented a paper on the theme: “Hazardous Materials: Knowing and Avoiding Risk” said chemical movement and handling often overlooked by industries is most responsible for health and environmental hazards.
He advised stakeholders to ensure proper documentation, storage and usage of chemicals in their industries to prevent hazards within their work environment.
The Secretary, Lagos State Safety Commission, Ms. Tola Sanusi sought the support of stakeholders for government efforts at entrenching a safety culture across the State.