P/Harcourt Hosts Power Safety Summit


Yemisi Izuora

Key players in the power industry will converge in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital in December 2016 for the 2nd edition of National Power Safety Summit.

This year’s Safety Power Summit is themed; “Reducing the Alarming Trend in Staff and Public Fatality in the Nigerian Power Sector”.

The National Power Safety Summit, which is an initiative of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, offers an opportunity to bring together key players in the Electricity Industry across Nigeria with the aim of highlighting and proffering solutions to several HSE challenges that have become a major challenge for the Nigerian power sector.

Speaking on the event, the Chief Executive Officer of PHED, Jay McCoskey, noted that the “event is expected to bring together captains of industry in the Generation, Transmission and Distribution sub sectors; Safety managers, Consultants, HSE Officers, relevant professional bodies and participants with HSE bias from the academia.

“Key resource persons in the Nigerian Power and Energy sectors have been earmarked to make presentations at the event on a wide range of HSE challenges in the sector.

“Syndicate sessions on ways of tackling these challenges across Generation, Transmission and Distribution sub sectors shall be held at the event”, McCoskey posited.

The PHED boss has expressed worry over the increase in public safety incidents.

He averred that available statistics as presented by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), is quite alarming and calls for great concern.

He pointed out that an average of one hundred and twenty (120) lives of non-electricity workers are lost annually in Nigeria to public electrocution cases, while about the same number suffer severe injuries arising from contact with electricity.

“The Forum sets a target of reducing this unfortunate statistics to as low as reasonably acceptable (ALARA), by sharing information on world’s best practices in electricity safety as it concerns the general public, public safety campaigns and quality control of electricity installations”, McCoskey maintained.

The CEO noted with dismay that the greatest challenge on this has been the issue of contravention of the right of way of power utilities across the nation, through the erection of buildings and facilities under the power high tension lines and other forms of encroachment on power installation locations.

“Vandalism, energy theft and illegal connections are also factors that cause public fatalities in the network.

“Host communities of Generation and Transmission facilities need also be alerted on the risk of encroachment on power lines”, McCoskey advised.

The first National Power Safety Summit it will be recalled, was held in August 2015 with many participants from across the nation.

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