Views

Your views: Be as stringent about safety as oil and gas industry

I write with regard to "Ensure worker safety or expect larger fines" (The New Paper, Dec 17).

"If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident" was a quote oft-heard when I was covering oil and gas for over 40 years.

But the accidents and fatalities, especially in construction, seem to suggest that some are not paying heed to this advice.

So the decision to raise fines, making them stiffer, could not be more timely.

But ways and means should be found whereby companies are put through the paces and educated beforehand on the importance of safeguarding their workers, and shown how they should go about doing this.

Failing which, they should incur the full force of the law, be it fines and even jail terms.

Much can be learnt from the petroleum industry, especially offshore, where ignoring safety comes at a high price.

The proclivity for getting it wrong is especially elevated in such an environment, and that is why every measure is taken throughout an oil rig or platform to ensure that both those that hire and those who work aboard follow the rules and regulations laid down.

This should be the case with the construction industry, where fatality rates need to be brought down.

More should be done to train the workers as well, so that observance of safety standards becomes ingrained, and the company should make sure these standards are adhered to.

This would contribute greatly to the health of workers, which in turn would aid productivity.

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