The Lagos State Government on Friday shutdown Hongxing Steel Company Limited, a Chinese company, based in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area for safety violations.
The state government issued the stop-work order following the death of a casual worker, Mr. Emeka Umoh, who sustained severe burns after liquefied iron was said to have spilled on him on September 23, 2015.
The victim reportedly died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, where he was rushed to for treatment by the management.
The death of Umoh was not, according to some staff of the company, the first of such incidence as the cases of fatal injuries are said to be regular even as the management of the company has consistently been reticent on basic safety rules.
Reacting to the incident, Director General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, LSSC, Mr. Fouad Oki, in a statement after visiting the company, said that the company failed to adhere to the state safety standards.
Oki lamented the working condition in the company describing it as “deplorable,” said the state government could not watch as the lives of Nigerian citizens were being wasted simply because an organisation refused to adhere to safety rules.
He noted that a safety audit of the company that was earlier conducted by the LSSC team showed that very little safety measure was put in place by the management.
“We have no option than to give the closure directive because the working condition in the company is harsh and totally unacceptable. It was unacceptable to Lagos as a work-place,” Oki said.
Uche Eke, the Public Relations Manager of the company, while reacting to the closure, said it would serve as a notice to the management to improve on its work-place safety measures, adding, “when it is improved, it will help to avoid future hazards.’’
So many Nigerians have become victims of such industrial accidents in foreign companies operating in the country. Some have died and others maimed without adequate compensation, while in most cases, they said the authorities never sanctioned companies.


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