BENIN, JULY 6, 2017 – The Managing Director of Okomu Oil Palm Company, Benin, Dr Graham Heifer, says the company spends about N100 million annually on health, security and environmental safety of its staff.
Heifer spoke at the company’s 2017 Health, Security and Environmental Awareness Day held at its premises in Okomu, in Udo, Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo.
The awareness day had as its theme, `A healthy environment begins with me; safety today, safety always.’
The managing director said that the health, environmental safety and security of members of staff of a company should not be compromised, hence, the huge spending.
“We set aside so much to ensure the company continually meets the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) safety compliance order,’’ Heifer said.
He said the company spends about N2.5 million quarterly for the maintenance of its national and international health safety compliance status.
“We spend additional N25 million annually for environment safety compliance.
“On top of this, the company spends about N70 million on personal protective equipment for all members of staff, as part of our safety compliance policy,’’ the managing director said.
According to him, the spending is seen as a great investment to prevent loss of lives and to minimize accidents in the work place because safety is paramount.
He said that aside spending much to enhance safety, regular environmental safety impact assessment of the company was conducted.
“Management will not accept that our safety obligation is compromised,’’ Heifer said.
Mr Afekhia Tajudeen, Senior Environment Officer, Ministry of Labour, said any organisation that neglected the health condition and environmental safety of its staff was not fit to remain in business.
“My department monitors and is interested in the absolute best safety practice compliance in any organisation.
“This must start with the organisation’s awareness safety campaign like the one we are having now, “ he said, noting that members of staff must be aware and alert to safety measures put in place around them.
“Any organisation that ignores and neglects health and environment safety measures in its work place, will certainly mourn at some point,’’ Tajudeen said.
He commended Okomu oil for its diligence and commitment to ensuring and assuring its members of staff of a safe work environment.
Mr Fatai Afolabi, an Environmental Consultant, also applauded Okomu Oil’s all round and all inclusive safety measures for its workers.
“The company becoming an ISO member shows its level of commitment to health and environmental safety laws and regulation,’’ he said.
According to him, Okomu is about the only company that regularly does quality assessment of emission pollution compliance in Nigeria.
Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi, the conservationist of the Okomu National Park, also commended the company’s management for its commitment to safety in the work place.
Abdullahi said the park, in collaboration with the Okomu Oil, was providing training on basic animal protection techniques to staff in the event of attack by stray wide animals on its plantation.
Traditional rulers and members of the host communities also applauded the company for its Corporate Social Responsibility projects in the area.