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The need for HSE NGOs and NPOs

In Nigeria, the need for grassroots mass enlightenment campaigns and training of SMEs workforce on the need for occupational health and safety cannot be overemphasized. Majority of Nigerian employees lack the basic knowledge and skills required to do their job safely.  They are unaware of the hazards within their work environment, are unconscious of their unsafe working habits and indifferent to accidents and deaths that occur to their colleagues (some simply see it as ill-fate). Such a wrong notion makes the problem of unsafe working conditions even worse.

However, a few semi-enlightened employees are aware of these dangers, but are unable to make any meaningful positive impact towards a change in their working conditions because of the following factors:

  • their employers may see them as recalcitrant employees and dismiss them
  • there are no active knowledgeable workers-union who are willing to fight for workplace safety
  • there are no active bodies, agencies or NGOs they can cry to for assistance
  • their fellow employees retard their activism by saying: “it doesn’t matter, just work and get paid” etc.

This is very worrisome as Nigerians are dying daily in their workplace. The need to fend for one’s family and oneself is very paramount. In a country like Nigeria where jobs are scarce and, with a high rate of unemployment, those who are lucky to find a job are very unwilling to do anything that would make their employers see them as recalcitrant, hence lose their source of livelihood.

So, they work unsafely and die in silence!

At this point, it is quite important to mention here that Nigeria SME employers are not deliberately hostile to the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees but are plagued by their poor level of education and enlightenment. Kivos HSE Foundation has discovered that majority of Nigeria SMEs, are reluctant to the improvement of their employee’s health and safety for the following reasons:

  • lack of proper enlightenment and knowledge regarding employee health and safety
  • some see employees’ accidents and deaths simply as ill-fate, not necessarily resulting from their working conditions or the employee’s poor knowledge of personal safety
  • some employers feels that the cost of employee safety training is quite expensive
  • some simply do not see the need for employee safety training
  • some see the need for employees training but are afraid of the cost of ensuring a safe working condition for them
  • some believe that since the government agencies are not bordered about the issue, why should they?
  • some see the cost of providing PPE as an extra budget that would not directly translate to their production output. As such, they would rather use that money to buy more raw materials for production
  • majority believes that it is the duty of an employee to train himself/herself and acquire all the safety knowledge required for him/her to work safely

These are some of the factors militating against the improvement of safe working conditions and employee HSE training in Nigeria. In the society, the question of “who should be responsible for employee’s safety” sparks several outcries from different quarters. Some people are of the opinion that it is the duty of the employee. Others antagonistically disagree and strongly upholds that it is the duty of the employers. However, we all know that both parties have a role to play, even the government, workers union and associations, NGOs and NPOs such Kivos HSE Foundation and others.

The role of NGOs and NPOs in Nigeria workplace safety

Kivos HSE Foundation strongly upholds the view that both the employer and employee have a role to play in ensuring a safe working environment. The foundation has come to terms with two main facts:

  • Nigerian SMEs are struggling to survive
  • there is a massive unemployment rate in Nigeria

These two factors are working together to retard the development of safe working conditions in Nigeria. The SME employers are shying away from their responsibilities and blaming it on poor production output, poor economy, poor power supply, poor government interventions, poor social amenities that corroborates better production outputs, high cost of raw materials, high taxes etc. Hence, they don’t want to invest in employee safety.

On the other hand, the massive unemployment rate in Nigeria has made SME employees afraid to request better working conditions and safety training. No one wants to start a revolution in this regard, because everyone holds a dare, his/her job and are unwilling to lose it.

This is where an NGO or NPO comes in. Kivos HSE Foundation strongly believes that it is the duty of NGOs and NPOs to bridge the gap in this regard. It is their duty to:

  1. form a communication bridge between employees and their employers in safety matters
  2. enlighten both parties on the indispensable need for HSE within the establishment
  3. help formulate and install an HSE policy for the SME
  4. help train and retrain employees on the need for personal safety and regular drills
  5. help provide subsidized training materials and training kits to SMEs
  6. help provides subsidized PPEs and other safety kits to SMEs
  7. hep install safety personnel’s such as safety warden, safety supervisor etc within SMEs
  8. inculcate the need for accident reporting and documentation in SMEs
  9. hep ensure compliance to both local and international HSE regulations

Kivos HSE Foundation is poised to play its role in this regard.

 HSE Training in Benin City, Nigeria - in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Kaduna, Warri, Benin, Enugu, Kano, Ibadan, Aba, Onitsha, Ondo, Asaba, Jos, Calabar, Ilorin, maiduguri, Zaria, Aba, Abeokuta, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Delta States

Kivos HSE Foundation: Our Programmes are fomulated to

- enlighten employers and employees of private and public establishments on the need for strict compliance to safety guidelines and HSE regulations
- form a communication bridge between employees and their employers in safety matters
- educate, train and certify interested members of the public on HSE
- educate employees on the need for a healthy lifestyle within and outside the work environment.
- disseminate safety slogans such as: “Safety begins with Me”, “My Safety is my responsibility”, “Safety First” etc, aimed at awakening safety consciousness
- carryout sensitization campaigns on the need for environmental protection, sustainability and preservation
- promote and maintain liaison between the populace and various disciplines/institutions of health and environment sciences.
- provide a forum for bringing together experiences related to HSE from individuals, institutions and organizations.
- award and express gratitude to any individual, group or corporate bodies who may have been contributing profoundly in promoting HSE.

Kivos Health, Safety and Environment (KiHSE) Foundation

Kivos Health, Safety and Environment (KiHSE) Foundation is a Nonprofit Foundation established to train, certify and empower individuals, members of NGOs and NPOs, private and public employees on public health, environmental protection, occupational Health and Safety. We train private and public employees to meet global standards by ensuring best practice and compliance within and outside the work environment.