Expert Calls for Coordination among Stakeholders to Avert Building Collapse

A construction and safety expert, Kamil Abiodun, on Thursday called for coordination among stakeholders in the construction industry to reduce incidence of building collapse.

Abiodun, a former President of American Society of Safety Engineers, Nigeria Chapter (ASSE-NC), made the call in an interview in Lagos.

"There is need for proper coordination among contractors, clients and workforce in terms of communication and engagement on the various work flows towards the success of a project.

"However, this is lacking in Nigeria's construction industry.

"Although safety related laws are available, the numerous accidents at sites still continue because management commitment towards health and safety of the workers is lagging."

Abiodun said that to achieve incident-free construction industry, safety of the structures as well as that of the personnel were of utmost importance.

"Safety issues are to be considered right from the design phase until the completion and handling of the structure.

"There is the need to understand the potential causes of accidents, preventive measures and development of safe work environment.

"The recent building collapse in Lagos is a clear representation of gaps in the industry compliance to practices that require the attention of policy makers and the multi-disciplinary professional bodies."

Abiodun advised developers to engage the services of professionals who would identify potential risks and ways to mitigate them.

He also urged the government to provide assistance to upcoming developers by collaborating with registered engineers that who provide free consultation and safety services.

"Government needs to take cognisance of small construction projects whose budgets cannot engage the full services of the required professionals.

"The volunteer engineers will provide evaluation advice to the developer to increase his awareness on the applicable requirements in building standard."

Abiodun stressed that the collaboration would ensure safety of the workers, construction site and the public at large.