Lagos State is about to experience the start-off of another tremendous service called; Lagos Automobile Safety Audit and the Automobile Safety Grant.
This was revealed in a recent stakeholders’ meeting called by the Lagos State Safety Commission, the agency pioneering this feat.
The meeting, held at the conference hall of the Commission in Alausa, Ikeja had several stakeholders from the automobile sales, insurance, emergency resuscitation, assembling, and various other sectors of the automobile industry in attendance.
In an introduction, the Director of Compliance of the Commission, Chief Mrs Odeleye reminded all of the various dangers bedeviling the automobile industry, including road usage especially in this great State of Lagos, reiterating the urgent need for an immediate understanding of automobile safety and collective action to stem the rise of this tide.
In his opening remarks, the Director General of the Commission, Hon Hakeem Dickson, welcomed all to the event. He also reminded all that drivers (humans) are one of the highest causes of road incidents and the need to tackle all unsafe practices in the use and maintenance of automobiles in Lagos State. He ended by telling that safety in the society means a collective action and we should always consider safety in all we do as “if one thinks safety is expensive, try an accident”.
In his speech, the MD Universal Insurance Plc, Mr Ben Ujoatuonu, speaking on public liability insurance, stated that public liability insurance covers the insured legal liability to bodily injury and property damage which may arise in the course of transacting your business provided it can be traced to a business operation and it gave rise to bodily injury or property damage, then a liability arises. So there must be something in place to cushion the effects arising from such incidents and ameliorate the sufferings of all directly and indirectly involved. It will be packaged in a way that it will be a one-stop package for clients both individual and corporate and will be priced in a moderate way yet provide maximum coverage against exposures to liabilities for clients in the course of doing their businesses.
In his own speech, Engr Patrick Anizoba, the technical consultant to the Automobile Safety Audit, pointed out that too many people are injured while working in automobile workshops in the course of executing their duties. That some injuries are obvious (vehicles falling or hitting workers) while others are not (inhaling asbestos) as these latter ones manifest over a long time. It is always important to stay prepared for emergencies and workshop safety is everyone’s responsibility. With participation of all concerned, safety in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole can be greatly improved.
In her remarks, the Secretary to the Safety Commission, spoke about the legal perspective of automobile safety. She reminded all that the foundation of the Safety Audit is the Lagos State Safety Commission Law passed into law in 2009 and gazetted in 2011. And that part of their responsibilities include safety certification of workplaces and withdrawal of licenses as the case may be. She pointed out the relevance of ‘Duty of Care’ in all we do. Duty of Care meaning that we all have responsibility to always care for one another at all times. It is the duty of every employer to care for all employees and the work places, especially in the automobile industry. Now legal action can be instituted against automobile dealers/workshops if a breach in safety regulations is evidential towards a claim and damages awarded to defaulters. Equally, any person who in a careless or negligent manner causes harm or endangers human life (misdemeanor) and is found liable will face prison time of up to 2 years. So matters of safety especially in Lagos State now has to be taken seriously by all.
Mr Soji Olaopa of the Lagos State Safety Commission spoke on the Risks Associated with Automobile Safety.
Mr Abiodun Lawrence-Ogidan in his presentation threw more light on the imperativeness of the Automobile Safety Audit and why we should adopt international best practices and standards in order to keep our society safe especially in the workplaces regarding the automobile industry. All workplaces that execute automobile related businesses will have their workplaces certified on an annual basis to ensure they comply with safety standards.
He revealed that there is a new Automobile Safety Grant to support trainings and improve capacity for those in the lower strata of the automobile industry so that these category of people will catch up and maintain set standards in their operations.
Mrs Juliet Chinwe Nwosu, a US trained nurse of the Smart Living Choice spoke on the importance of acquiring first-aid knowledge to be able to render assistance to victims of accidents especially before the arrival of trained medical emergency personnel.