Freetown Terminal Limited (FTL) a subsidiary of Bollore Group has commemorated the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is celebrated annually on 28 April to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international and local attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
FTL’s General Manager, Nicolas Escalin spoke on the local theme: “Don’t be blind, have a safety mind”, noting that the workers must always ensure they follow safety measures. “You must first know that you are humans and that you are always needed at home and the workplace. Safety is a commitment, which is why we provide the required tools for every worker’s safety,” he said and continued that “We have to make people respect safety rules. It is very everybody at all levels. Keep yourselves safe at all times and also ensure others are safe.” The General Manager said FTL has clear safety processes and rules that must be followed. “Wrong initiatives may lead to accidents and high fatalities. Don’t take unnecessary risks,” he cautioned his workers and called on them to work together for a safe workplace. “Security and safety are not a game, but a commitment management of FTL, which everyone must follow,” Escalin said.
Abu Bakarr Suma, Head of Health, Safety and the Environment at the Dangote Cement Company admonished workers at the Port to work when given an assignment to do and continued that “We are working for our families and children, and that is why we must also think of our safety. Your safety is key. Don’t please your supervisor in an unsafe workplace.” “Let’s work as a team and make our environment safe,” Suma advised. “They are not paying us for fast operations but for safer operations. Safety is gainful, and the accident is painful,” he said.
Ferdinand Valentine, President of the Sierra Leone Dock Workers Union underscored the importance of mind regulation. “We are unsafe because we don’t try to regulate our minds. We must try to be safe and be conscious to make the workplace and the whole country a better place,” he said.
Osman Kargbo, Laboratory Lead and Technical Head of National Safe Blood Services in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation spoke on the importance of saving and donating blood. “Our safety comes first. To have a safe mind, you need to have a stress-free mind. To have a stress-free mind, you need to donate blood regularly,” he admonished the workers and pointed out that donating blood can reduce stress. ”One unit of blood donated reduces 6 000 calories. Let’s donate blood to save lives,” he said.
Memunatu Turay, Station Officer and Head of Fire Prevention at the National Fire Force encouraged her audience to switch off their electrical appliances when leaving the homes and offices. Most of the fire incidents, she said, are caused by overloading of electrical circuits. “It is good to prevent fire accidents in our places of work and homes. Make sure your presence is felt in the office so that others will know how to rescue you when a fire incident occurs,” she advised and added that people should not be panicked when fire incidents occur. “It is important to have fire extinguishers in our homes and offices,” Madam Turay said.
A representative of the Sierra Leone Port Authority Environment Department spoke on the importance e of having a sound mind in a sound body. “Our overall average is proper well-being. We should work towards achieving zero accidents,” he said and furthered that the SLPA is in full support of ensuring a safe workplace environment. ”Let me encourage my colleagues to contribute to the blood bank by donating blood to save lives. Let us work together to ensure the port is environmentally safe and secure. We want to see a port that will use renewable energy,” he said.
FTL’s Patrick Sannoh who moderated the event, earlier said the World Day for Safety and Health is an annual campaign observed by the United Nations International Labour Organization. “We must dedicate our effort to mind management, which involves controlling and organizing the activities of the mind. It creates optimism in the mind. It is important to control the mind to help to have a clear conscience and growth management. The focus is to have zero accidents this year,” he revealed. He called for the need to avoid distractions, get enough sleep, and have maximum concentration. “Being productive is about mind management. We need to work as a team and show strong leadership in all institutions to have effective mind management,” Sannoh said.