The sister company of Henkel Global, Expanded Global Industries Limited, Ibadan, where Gbadebo Richard, the 300-level student of the University of Ibadan died last Tuesday, has reached out to compensate the family of the deceased.
Richard had accidentally slipped into the production machine while he was on duty and the Oyo State government had sealed up the soap-making factory located in Oluyole Estate Extension, Ibadan.
Expanded Global, in a statement, released on the 30th of July 2020, announced it was shocked and saddened by the loss of Richard Gbadebo and expressed sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.
In the statement signed by it Human Resources Manager, Aliyu Jubril, the company explained that its representatives had met with the family, along with representatives from the student council to express its deepest condolences.
It also gave an assurance that it would “continue to engage with the family [of the deceased] and provide necessary support during this difficult period.”
He said that “Henkel is a 142-year-old company operating at the highest level globally and has been in operation in Nigeria for over 10 years without recording a single fatal accident until the sad occurrence of Tuesday.
“Henkel Nigeria employs thousands of workers (directly and indirectly). This is an accident that is highly regretted and the company is sad. Although nothing can replace a life, Henkel has an insurance package for all its staff, including the casual workers.
“It will be responsible for all the burial expenses for the deceased. It is also offering compensation to ameliorate the loss of Richard. While the compensation cannot replace human life, it will help to ameliorate the suffering of the family,” he said.
He, however, appealed to the Oyo State Ministry of Labour to revisit its decision to shut down the factory, noting that closing the company would only lead to hunger for some of the innocent workers of the company.
He called on the police to hasten its investigation into the tragic incident as a lengthy closure of the factory would only aggravate the economic crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Expanded Global Industries Limited is working closely with the Police and Ministry of Labour to ascertain the circumstances leading up to this tragic incident.
“Both departments are proceeding with external investigations into this matter and we are conducting our own intern investigation into the safety protocols observed.
“We understand that there may be queries from concerned stakeholders towards the tragic incident. Please be rest assured that further information will be shared once available.
“Production at the main site remains suspended until further notice. The safety and health of our people are of the utmost importance to us. Our company has stringent safety protocols in place to ensure that every employee operates in a safe working environment,” he added.