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Overhaul safety management systems, OSHAssociation UK tells Nigerian military after death of army chief

By YANGE IKYAA

Following the latest crash of an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Airforce at the weekend, the Occupational Safety and Health Association of the United Kingdom (OSHAssociation UK), Nigeria Region, has told the Nigerian military to overhaul its safety management systems.

HRH Amb. Olusegun Aderemi, the Nigerian regional president of the association, said continuous crashes of military aircraft means there was no effective accident investigation in the previous crashes and prompt action to stop reoccurrences of the incidents.

Aderemi was reacting to the death of the chief of army staff, Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, in an aircrash at the weekend along with other top army officers on their way to Kaduna for an official engagement.

Eye witnesses said that they saw the plane explode mid-air before crashing. The death of Nigerian military officers in the crash happens to be the second three months.

The Nigerian regional head of OSHAssociation said it doubted the professionalism and safety skills of Nigerian military air crew in managing the aircraft of the armed forces in line with best international safety practices.

He also said the accidents and fatalities experienced in various institutions today are the result of safety failures and negligence on the part of officers or from the leadership of such institutions.

On February 21, 2021, seven officers of the Nigerian Air Force crashed in a military aircraft, none of them survived.

According to him, “these deaths have come in quick succession and calls for concern, even if it is not unusual in war situations and crises of insecurity to have such casualties. Nigeria’s elite squad in the military should not be exposed to avoidable situations that put them in jeopardy.

“Accidents like this should be avoided by implementing adequate safety measures in order not to demoralise other soldiers on duty.

“Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHAssociation) as one of the leading safety Associations working closely with the private and public institutions towards zero accidents is highly concerned, because we specialise in professional training, advocacy, standards and policy development on occupational safety and health, therefore, we are raising awareness over the incessant aircraft crashes in the military, with advice on a need to urgently overhaul their safety management systems and ensure accurate accident investigation to stop reoccurrences.’”

He further explained that a recent analysis indicated that all accidents in Nigeria from 1985 to 2010 using the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), a conventional framework widely used in aviation, were occasioned by skill-based error, inadequate supervision and environmental factors.

However, safety experts from Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHAssociation) believe that barring all indications of tardiness on the part of regulating authorities in the provision of safe air transport whether civil or military, stakeholders in the maintenance arm of aviation should work harder to ensure that routine oversights are given to human errors as they are accorded to technical failures.

“Besides human factor, training and focusing on safety key performance indicators should be enhanced for inspectors, data analysts in the regulatory authorities and accident investigators,” Aderemi maintained.

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