Power firms host safety summit to tackle electrocution
Power distribution companies have in a press release iterated their willingness to tackle head-on, the fatalities in the power sector through a national safety summit for operators.
According to their statement, the rate of electrocution in the power industry since its privatization in mid-November 2013 is worrisome, as they noted that they and other players must put in some hard work and implement a more accurate and effective plan to ensure that nobody (including a staffs and third parties) is electrocuted in their respective areas of operation anymore.
It was reported last week that 42 persons lost their lives in 38 fatal accidents caused by faulty systems in the electricity distribution arm of the power sector between January and May this year.
The report revealed that 10 of the recorded fatalities were employees of the different power firms, while the remaining 32 were individuals who did not work in the industry.
It also showed that aside Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, the remaining 10 Discos recorded fatalities, either by losing one or more employees, or by losing one or more power consumers in their various franchise areas.
Course of Action to Mitigate Electrocution
On how to end electrocution in the sector, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Ernest Mupwaya, stated that the firm had decided to host the 2018 National Power Safety Summit in order to enable stakeholders to come up with other workable measures that could halt fatalities in the sector.
Challenges and Limitations
Mupwaya, who disclosed this while receiving the 2018 NPSS flag at the AEDC’s headquarters in Abuja on Friday, said, “The concept of safety presupposes the desire to ensure that both the service provider and the user of the product should benefit maximally from the product.
“However, human beings, either for lack of knowledge or complacency and carelessness, find themselves constantly compromising safety standards, unfortunately to our own detriment. So, we promise to do all that is necessary to raise the standard of the summit, considering the gains to be derived from an event like this.”
Past and Directives Taken to minimise the Upset
Mupwaya stated that the AEDC had made the observance of safety rules mandatory for its employees, adding that the firm had invested about N2.5bn over five years in the provision of safety gears and equipment for its workers.
The 2018 NPSS Local Organising Committee Chairman, Gabriel Igede, stated that the rate of fatality in the power sector had been on the increase since 2014, rising from about 70 in that year to as high as 115 in 2016.
Igede stated, “We choose AEDC for the summit because we noticed that the rate of fatality in its franchise area has been decreasing, unlike what you see in other Discos. And this is because the firm has been acquiring new technologies to enhance safety.
“So, we decided to bring the summit here so that the whole nation can come and listen to the power firm to tell how it has been managing safety issues in order to address the issue of fatality in its area of operation”.