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Getting Paid To Die

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Weeks ago, I visited a printing press in order to make enquiries about the cost for printing a magazine. It ached my heart to find out that the workers were literally being paid to die. The company’s power plant was so close that its emissions covered were the workers were working inside the building.

It is trite to note that almost all combustion by products negatively affect human health and the environment in one way or another. Some of them causes acid rain, some worsen respiratory and heart illnesses. Some damage the lungs while some contributes to the greenhouse effect among other negative effects.

Electricity is being said to be a clean and safe form of energy, but, when in use, its generation and transmission affects the environment. In the United States of America, the Clean Air Act regulates air pollutant emissions from power plants. In Nigeria, the Health and Safety at Work Act regulates, through its provisions, general workplace health and safety by providing guidelines that should reduce, and if possible eliminate workplace hazards.

The effects of working in a HSE unfriendly workplace might start showing up many years after. The workers might have even retired by then, and in Africa, the low income earners can’t even access good health care.

It is easy for us to craft out judgements on suicide bombers, yet, people working in HSE unfriendly environment, who in the course of their job, their lives and the lives of those around them are at risk are literally getting paid to die.

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