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Building Collapse: Surveyors Demand Stiffer Safety Culture

Association of Private Practicing Surveyors, (APPSN) has called on the Federal government and other levels of government to enforce safety rules  in areas where construction work  is ongoing.

The experts, who blamed most tragic incidence in the construction site on lack or inadequate safety measures, also urged President Muhammedu Buhari and the state governors across the country to put in place a working safety policy that will not only be made known to the public but also enforced.

Speaking during the annual professional development workshop,  Chairman Lagos State branch of the association, Mr. Olufemi Odewale said  that cases of building collapse could be avoided if the materials and the workers are properly monitored.

He added that it is not enough to have the safety policies written without implementing them, saying that the only way to avert needless disaster and tragedies is to implement effective safety policies. “Our job is dependent on the environment. So, what we are doing today is part of the sensitisation of the stakeholders on the issue of safety.

To ensure safety in our society especially in the building profession, survey is basically the bedrock of meaningful development. That means that there can’t be any major development without the input of surveyors. Therefore, when surveyors are aware  of the need for safety, they will be safety conscious which means that every other professional coming to work in the environment would imbibe safety culture and it goes on from there.”

Odewale, who described  the theme of the workshop,”Man and his environment: Life Saving Measure”, as apt, said it is the duty of any surveyor to consider safety while working on the sit. “For surveyors, being the first person to work on the site, we make the issue of safety very important, we prioritise it and let the people see the need to their daily activities. So, safety is key. We demonstrate it, we preach and we also encourage people to imbibe it,” he added.

To avert recurrent incidences of building collapse in Lagos, he said, the association of surveyors is working with the state safety board to ensure that regulations are given serious consideration such that when there are offenders, the law will take its course. “ The issue is that when people know that if they do something wrongly, nobody penalises
them, but once they know that some regulations are in place, they will comply with the law and be safety conscious.

“For every collapse, there is a measure of something that has gone wrong somewhere. Any structure that is more than two or three floors should be regularly monitored to know whether that building is still standing strong. If we do this over time, we would be able to prevent some of these collapses,”‎ he added. Also speaking, Mr. Adedeji Sebiotimi,‎ a surveyor, said the use of modern survey equipment on any construction site would go a long way in ensuring safety.

– Emmanuel Ukudolo



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