…safety standards last reviewed 1988
By Emeka Mamah
Kaduna – About 65 Nigerians were electrocuted between 2007 and 2008, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said.
It also said that it would soon embark on the clearance of structures erected on electricity transmission and distribution networks by some Nigerians.
NERCâ€™s administrator, Imamudeen Talba disclosed this during a train-the-trainers workshop on Health and Safety Standards Manual organised by the commission in Kaduna, yesterday.
Talba said that 23 people lost their lives in electrocution incidences in 2007, while 42 died the following year bringing the total to 65.
He was represented at the occasion by the commissionâ€™s Head of Engineering Safety and Standards, Emmanuel Ezekwere.
According to him, the high number of casualties was unacceptable even as he pointed out that a greater percentage of such electrocution incidences occurred in the various electricity distribution firms.
â€œIt is noteworthy that existing safety guidelines and standards were last reviewed in 1988. Safety practices are, to say the least, almost non-existence. From the statistics available to the commission, 23 and 42 incidences resulting in deaths were recorded in 2007 and 2008, respectively, as a result of electrocutions.
â€œGreater percentage of these electrocutions occurred in the distribution companies. This is extremely high and unacceptable,â€ he added.
â€œAs the infrastructure expands to meet the needs of Nigeria as a nation, the standards will need to grow and expand. Therefore, the standards as contained in the manual should be considered a living document that will be modified, expanded upon and, in some instances, contracted to meet the technological changes in the workforce,â€ he said.