Why do the most basic to protect the most precious?
It’s a question you can ask the average person and not get the right answers, with the number of injuries, fires and deaths that go on around people, it’s still not enough to bring about a change in behaviour towards equipping the home and office with basic HSE equipment, the same way they would the latest entertainment gadget.
You have to ask how many more markets need to burn down before it’s just basic for every one of them to be equipped with a basic fire station and safety drills. When I join the Red Cross Society in secondary school, it was because I wanted to be equipped with the tools & skills needed to help those I loved and cared about during an emergency, that road led me to get the highest certifications on HSE and I haven’t even started.
People living in multi-million-naira homes and driving multi-millionaire cars don’t have the basic safety equipment to protect them like fire extinguishers or fire blankets for their houses, and the ones that do, get the most basic ones they can find just to meet Road safety and Police regulations, you walk to the average Event Center and you see the most basic firefighting tools just enough to beat regulations.
As for markets, we hear news of fires, every other week, without any effort to prevent or prepare for the next one. But We can change, we have seen that with seat belts, how even in the most broken-down bus, we see them use items to have seat belts in front seats because of regulations, also we’ve had limited working progress with motorcycle helmets.
Most large corporations, Blue-chip, publicly quoted companies have more than the basic safety tools and office safety equipment and some of them give more than the basic HSE training to their staff through the HR movement moving across the nation but it’s not fast enough, every day someone gets killed or injured in an accident that could have been prevented or minimized with a better HSE policy. There is some hope, we are having the world health and safety day observed with more visibility and I hope that more awareness would be put towards making offices and homes safer for everyone.
Some examples of basic Home and Office HSE equipment
First Aid kit: A first aid kit is an essential tool that should be available in every home. It should contain items such as bandages, antiseptic cream, pain relievers, adhesive tape, etc.
Fire extinguisher: A fire extinguisher is a handy tool for extinguishing small fires in the home. It should be readily accessible and maintained regularly.
Smoke detector: A smoke detector is an important safety tool that alerts you to the presence of smoke in your home, giving you enough time to evacuate in case of a fire emergency.
Carbon monoxide detector: Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that can cause serious health hazards if inhaled for an extended period. Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home can help prevent health hazards from this gas.
Flashlights: Power outages can occur at any time, and having a flashlight can help you navigate in the dark until power is restored. Make sure you keep extra batteries in stock.
Tool kit: A basic tool kit is important for emergency repairs in the home. It should include a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, wrench, etc.
Personal protective equipment: Personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, and masks can help protect your eyes, hands, and lungs from hazardous substances when undertaking home repairs.
Security system: Installing a home security system can help protect your home against burglary and home invasions.
Non-slip mats: non-slip mats can help prevent slips and falls in bathrooms, kitchens, and other wet areas of the home.
Blood pressure monitor: has become an essential tool in the home and the office and that’s because more attention is been given to what is called the silent killer since you don’t always get symptoms, so many people when they check their blood pressure are actually shocked at the results, for so many people when they get to the hospital for other reasons and their blood pressure is checked by the hospital as a routine procedure, the hospital staff can’t believe how they made it there alive but nowadays there is more awareness about how diet and lifestyle affect our blood pressure and health thus a lot more people are monitoring it and making necessary adjustments to their lifestyle for the sake of their health.
A fire blanket: is essential because in a fire like in a hit record or movie, the first 45 seconds count, and if you can starve the fire of oxygen, you might prevent a catastrophe in those first few seconds.
A basic First Aid kit with disinfectant and bleeding-stopping kits could be the difference between amputation or death, so why don’t we have enough of them around?
- We believe to prepare for the worst-case scenarios is to expect them.
- We believe that prayers can be a substitute for preparation, planning and prevention.
- We need authorities and regulators to tell us what to do.
Government legislators and regulators are becoming more alive to their primary responsibility of upholding the law and protecting lives and property, now most building sites have safety procedures passed outside and there are more on-site inspections.
In terms of basic home and office safety improvement, there are some improvements in the area of blood pressure measurement, which is becoming a lot easier to purchase and more visible, same with fire extinguishers and First Aid kits, at least with these three, we can see some level of improvement and room for growth if more schools, offices, markets and religious bodies having regular HSE seminars and people understand that this is more about saving lives than just obeying regulations.
OVIGHO RICHARD OKOJEVOH-CIEH.SMC.PMP. is a Scrum Master Certified, Project Management & HSE Professional, and the Executive Secretary of the Society for Health, Safety, and Environmental Education