Friday, 21 May 2010


The theme of this seminar/workshop is "Building a successful occupational health, safety and environment (HSE) career." The HSE profession is gradually gaining acceptance and recognition in Nigeria and this field is a goldmine because the statistics and records show that the present number of HSE professionals in Nigeria is far below the minimum required to take up the available roles and opportunities. This is more important especially now that we are embracing new technology and ways of doing things in all aspects of our socio-economic and political development. This program will among all other things, create a platform for dissemination of up-to-date information on the required processes to achieving competence in the field. Leading industry HSE experts will anchor the program and it promises to be a great time of discoveries and capacity building for all participants.

VENUE: Centre for Management Development (CMD)
Auditorium 3, Management Village
Shangisha, Magodo
Lagos State
DATE: Saturday August 28th, 2010
TIME: 12.00 Noon - 5.00 PM

The Vision/Program Objective
The developments and advancements taking place in Nigeria in the last ten years give a bright ray of hope that this nation will soon take her rightful place in the committee of nations as a great icon. There are various positive changes taking place all around us in government, technology, education, health, sports, to mention but a few. Part of these changes also involves evolvement of new careers and employment opportunities for the citizens of the country. We have witnessed new career opportunities and benefits in the oil and gas, telecommunications, manufacturing, banking, education, sports and entertainment.

However, in spite of all these new opportunities for gainful employment, there are still large percentages of Nigerians who are in the employment market even with good education. It is a known fact that some careers in the country have become over saturated and as a result have left a lot of people unemployed. It is also true that there are some others that have less than required number of personnel and as these needs continue to grow, influx of expatriates into the country to fill these positions will not end. The main reason for this among others could be the lack of competent Nigerians to fill these positions.

It is therefore important at this stage of our national growth and development to explore some of these career opportunities that have need for qualified and competent personnel. It is my desire, dream and vision that unemployment rates in Nigeria will be reduced as people embrace a career with so much benefits and potential, yet relatively unknown; not only for the individuals but for the country as a whole. I also see a Nigeria where there is value for life and reduction of incidents to the citizen in their homes, workplaces and the general society where they interact. This is the time to do and make things happen and create the Nigeria that we all desire. This is the background for this career development seminar with the theme ‘Building A Successful Career in Health, Safety & Environment (HSE).’

The purpose of this seminar is to provide in-depth information about the Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) profession that would assist anyone considering a career in this challenging but rewarding field. Many countries of the world have started the HSE journey earlier than us, but we can begin NOW in Nigeria and prepare for the harvest that is already available. Leading industry professionals in the field of HSE will be attending this seminar to help chart a path and provide useful directions to all participants on how to become qualified and competent persons with required skills for the workplace in Nigeria

It is my believe that this seminar will provide a platform to contribute our quota to the emergence of the Nigeria of our dreams; where:
1. there will be gainful employment opportunities for Nigerians in the field of HSE
2. safety, good welfare and occupational health of Nigerians will become a priority
3. environmentally safe practices will be embraced

Thank You.

Dapo Omolade

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Home Child Safety 1: Swimming Pool Safety

How many times have you heard in the news bulletin that children and sometimes adult were found drown in the swimming pools at homes or recreational centres? The average of such occurrences should be relatively high individually...say 10 times in the last 5 years.

Swimming is a popular and fun summer activity for children to relax, play and cool off the heat. However, a swimming pool can turn deadly in an instant. Numerous child injuries are reported each year in conjunction with swimming pool accidents, resulting in broken bones, permanent brain damage, neck or spinal cord injuries and death. Statistics on swimming pool accidents show that young children are especially vulnerable to pool injuries.

Drowning is the primary result of swimming pool accidents. According to reports, 1,500 children drown each year in a pool accident in the United States. Toddlers and young male teenagers are most at risk for drowning in swimming pool accidents. Many parents may not realize the danger swimming pools represent, but according to statistics, drowning causes 30% of all deaths for children under the age of 4. Additionally, for all children under the age of 14, drowning is second only to car accidents as the leading cause of death.

In addition, the consumer product safety commission in the US has received reports of 200 children drowning in hot tubs, bathtubs and whirlpools. While you may expect that most children who die in drowning accidents are unsupervised, the exact opposite is true.

According to Safe Kids USA, 88% of children who die in swimming pool accidents were supervised at the time of the accident, either by a lifeguard, parent, sibling or family friend. Only 10% of child drowning victims were completely unsupervised. There are fewer statistics available for child injuries in swimming pool accidents, since many minor accidents go unreported. Hospital reports in the US (New York alone) estimates that 2,600 children are injured in near-drowning accidents each year, but that doesn't include the many other injuries suffered in diving accidents, slips and falls around pools, or pool drain accidents.

In our part of the world, you may be quick to say we do not have as many swimming pools as in the US and other western countries. As true as this may be, we have recorded several incidents of swimming pool incidents in homes, recreational facilities and in schools. Interestingly, this has often occurred in the above average homes and families. A good example was the news in 2009 of the death of the grandson of the prime minister of Zimbabwe as a result of drowning in the swimming pool in the residence of the PM. Of course, there are many others like that which are not reported.

There are safety tips that are able to eliminate drowning at the pool or at the least, reduce the number of cases to the bearest minimum. Some of these tips are itemised below:
  • Never allow your youngster to swim alone without any adult supervision. It is quite common to develop a cramp underwater, or for accidents like hitting your head while diving for example, to occur. It is paramount that there should be persons around to help in such situations.
  • Do not allow children with no knowledge of swimming in or around the pool. For good pool safety make sure that all kids above the age of 4 attend a certified swimming class, or at least learn basic flotation techniques and life saving techniques in case of accidents.
  • Children younger than 4 should always be accompanied by their parents in the pool.
    Enclose your pool with high fences, which can be locked. Do not leave the pool open and accessible since children can fall inside. Keep your pool safe, and keep your kids away from the poolside.
  • Avoid leaving your kids alone even with small portable pools or water bodies like buckets, fountains, and barrels. There is always a danger of drowning occuring even in small bodies of water.
  • In case of a backyard swimming pool, make sure that the cover of the pool is completely lifted over the pool. Do not partially open the pool. Also make sure that your child does not walk over the pool cover.
  • Spas and Hot Tubs must also be avoided, especially in the case of younger children who are susceptible to overheating.
  • Make sure that there is always a life saving floation device handy near the pool. Also, every parent should be conversant in basic first aid (cardio pulmonary resuscitation-CPR & artificial respiration –AR) techniques in case of any accident.
  • The last, but not the least, to ensure swimming pool safety, be observant. Watch what your kids are up to, and supervise their activities. Do not leave them alone at any time around any body of water.

Remember that they are the little ones, very vague and unaware and are very eager to explore all opportunities to have fun.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Home Child Safety

There is nothing more precious than a child. In many cultures and traditions, the birth of a child is regarded as the most tangible evidence of a marriage that is blessed and successful. The home is expected to be a safe haven, the place of safety and security for parents, visitors and also the children. This of course will not happen automatically except there is a concerted effort to achieve this goal. Most parents believe their homes are safe for their children but the accidents statistics that are received on daily basis world over suggest that most homes aren't as safe as they should be.

Along with the joys of parenthood comes a great deal of worries, not least how to keep our children safe. Whilst most parents worry about our children’s safety away from the homes, we often forget about the very real hazards inside our own homes. It may be impossible to eliminate every single hazard imaginable, but it is possible to eliminate as many hazards as possible and to be prepared for all eventualities. Always remember that ‘prevention is better than the cure’ and one of the most important aspects of ensuring children are safe is to supervise them as much as possible. Never leave children unattended!

Accidents happen in the home, even to the parents and adult alike. However, this potential for accident increases with a child in the house, whether a newborn or an adolescent, accidents can happen all too easily and sometimes with terrible consequences. The causes and consequences of home injuries vary considerably by age and developmental level, reflecting differences in the child's ability to learn and understand about what is around them. Their ability to move around their environment also changes what should be considered safe. The majority of poisonings and other unintentional injuries in the homes could have been prevented by following a few simple steps to make the child's surrounding safe for them at each level of development.

You may be surprise at what your kids are capable of doing and at sudden development in their activities such as rolling over, crawling and trying to climb up using an open drawer as the ladder. These may lead to unexpected accidents such as tipping hot liquids over themselves, making a shelf and its content fall, cutting themselves, choking, swallowing small parts, poisoning, falling from height and wandering outdoors or on to the streets alone.

Homes must therefore be made absolutely safe for children especially because of their novice tendencies. The act of ensuring that a home is safe for children is known as childproofing. Childproofing our homes is something that we have to carry out in great detail, especially when children are very young. Although we might all think we are responsible parents who would not let our baby or toddler get into any harm at home, there are many hidden hazards lurking which could injure a young child or baby or could result in something even more serious than that. Therefore, it’s important that you take practical steps to understand the potential dangers that are present around the house and to take preventative measures to keep your children safe. Therefore, to keep your children safe and secure, childproofing is must for every household with young kids and curious toddlers.

This article will therefore explore various childproofing strategies that will help to identify many hazards that could exist in homes and how to minimize the risks to the children and the family as a whole. This would be considered under different sections and aspects of the homes where these hazards are present and most of the times not obvious except by serious assessment and evaluation. Some of the areas to be considered in this article subsequently are:

  • Swimming Pool
  • Bathroom/Toilet
  • Kitchen
  • Bedroom
  • Cribs/Cots
  • Living rooms
  • Curtains/Door & Window blinds
  • Garden/Flower Pots
  • Drugs/Medicines
  • Chairs and Sofas
  • Staircases
  • Stores/Warehouse
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Tiles & Floors
  • Outdoor environment
I will be giving some safety tips and suggestions within this scope in subsequent articles on Home Child Safety. Watch out for more details!