From Anthony Chidubem, Lagos
Enforcement officers particularly, and all otherindustryplayers need to comply with safety rules to every avoidable eliminate marine accidents and related issues arising from marine operation mishandling, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said.
In his address during the annual Maritime Administration and Safety Enforcement (MASE) Health Safety and Environment (HSE) workshop in Lagos, NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the focus on HSE, especially those who enforce rules and regulations, was important.
Peterside, speaking on the theme, “Maritime Enforcement Safety: Current Global Benchmarks,” said the agency would not “be held by local standards because operational safety, especially when it comes to the maritime sector, has to conform to global standards and this is what we are preaching in NIMASA.”
He noted that the agency’s mandates included ensure safety and security of vessels visiting and leaving the nation’s territorial waters, those who work on board vessels and offshore platforms, and those who create support services from the shore for maritime activities thrive.
“Our goal is to see a maritime sector devoid of avoidable accidents due to lack of professional enforcement. This is why we have reviewed our enforcement drive to give proper attention to HSE guidelines for the benefit of everyone participating in the sector,” he said.
Therefore, he charged enforcement officers to be safety conscious whenever on their routine inspections, and to ensure that inspections and enforcement are done without putting any life at risk.
According to him, the training will provide hands-on safety procedures, which will aid the maritime enforcement team in its responsibilities under the NIMASA Act 2007 and related instruments, solely for identification, assessment and control of hazards prone to enforcement operations in onshore and offshore facilities.
On his part, the NIMASA Head of Health Safety and Environment, Mr. Fred Ugo, disclosed that the agency, through the HSE Unit, has set out basic guidelines for officers responsible for ensuring health and safety in maritime.
This is more so as it conforms to environmental standards, which are achievable during enforcement operations, a statement from the NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi, read.