BCPG tasks artisans on safety in construction sites

To curb death of building artisans on construction site, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) Lagos State Chapter in collaboration with Lagos State Safety Commission has trained over 400 artisans in the built sector on the imperatives of adopting standard safety measures/insurance.
The one-day workshop titled, “Measures and application on building construction site” held at Alausa, Lagos, brought together, Carpenters, concrete caster association, bricklayers, welder association, block makers, among others.
Speaking at the workshop, the chairman of Lagos chapter of BCPG, Solomon Ogunseye stated that going by the reality of vulnerability of the building artisans during construction process, there was the need to enlighten them on basic safety precautions that would preserve their health and well being.
According to him, from available statistics, it has been established that artisans who are Carpenters die more than any other personnel during construction work because their jobs take them much higher to the roof of a building project.
He said there was the need to educate on observing safety regulations like wearing the helmets to prevent head injury during construction, not working barefooted on site to prevent nail and tetanus attacks and the need to be educated on insurance which would take care of any accident that leads to serious injury or death.
Ogunseye said, “Some artisans still use the bamboo scaffolding which has been outlawed by government. This people don’t care because they are hungry. Even if the bamboo has been there for three months, they will still climb and the thing would collapse on them and so we need sensitise the artisans. Carpenters rank among highest casualty figure during construction. You can’t see an architect die on the site nor engineers. The Carpenters and some other artisans are the most vulnerable. We have invited insurance experts to talk to them that we want to enforce in conjunction with Lagos State government that there must be a certificate of safety on construction site”.
In his presentation on, “ Imperative of material testing in building construction”, the Acting General manager of Lagos State Materials Testing, Ajani Olalekan said gone are the days whereby the society attributes building collapses to witches and wizards as the causes of such incidents in modern time failure to carry soil investigation before construction on site, poor quality of concrete/ right mix, the quality of sand and gravel use in building, the quality of water and steel samples standards.
According to him, the essence of soil investigation is to provide sufficient information for design for the most safest and practical design of foundation, which must be to BS 5930:1999 specifications.
He said, “It’s important to get the right mix for your concrete to enable you check the strength, workability, density and other properties of concrete, you should test the pre-cast beam, water must be potable and steel sample must be tested according to specified standard before use.
Olalekan told participants to be wary of the influx of sub-standard iron rods that has found their way into the market particularly in Ikorodu axis of Lagos stressing there are plans to mobilise and ensure that producers of such materials are brought book.
He disclosed that through Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), the agency is to carry out some investigations on the structural integrity of Lagos State buildings in Alausa without destructing them with the use of specialized equipment in order to advice government on what to do.
Speaking on Design and Construction Practice for Building Collapse Prevention and Safety, the Secretary of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos state branch, Mr. Samson Akinyosoye, explained that three things stages contribute to building collapses from the architectural perspective. These he said include, the design, construction, and post construction stages. According to him, any failure to put in place right mechanisms to reinforce the structural balance and integrity of the building could make the structure to collapse.
He noted that quality of building materials and workmanship should be given adequate attention to avert collapse stressing that if a component of a building is not functioning, such a structure is bound to deteriorate and collapse.
Victor Gbonegun
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