Nigeria Commences Occupational Safety and Health Regulations Review
By Helen Shok Jok, Abuja
Nigeria is reviewing its occupational safety and health regulations.
This is in line with the requirement by the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health and the International Labour Organisation ILO Convention 187 which effectively address identified workplace safety and health concerns in work environment.
Present at the review and validation workshop are representatives of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association NECA, Trade Union Congress TUC, and the Secretary General of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC among other stakeholders.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollom Daju, said that the two-day review and validation workshop for the review of obsolete Occupational Safety and Health Regulations will address the challenges of safety, health, welfare and protection of workers.
She stressed the importance of a continuous strengthening of the Factories Act through its subsidiary legislations in line with global best practice.
According to her, “the review of these regulations is intended to enhance data collection, reduce the incidence of illnesses, diseases, injuries and death amongst workers thereby improving revenue generation and productivity for overall economic growth”.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director, Occupational Safety and Health Department, Mrs Laureate Adogu, announced that the outcome of the review and validation workshop with inputs from the tripartite- plus partners and other relevant stakeholders, would be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council FEC for approval, domiciling and gazetting.
She said that the government would continue to take pro-active steps towards achieving a safer and healthier working environment in Nigeria, through National programs, legislations, legislative reviews and collective agreements on Occupational Safety and Health, in line with the ILO’s agenda for decent work, and the declaration on fundamental principles and right at work.
Welcoming stakeholders, the Director, Occupational Safety and
Health Department, represented by the Chief Inspector of Factories, Dr. Tamunomiete Lawson, stated that the exercise had become urgent as a result of an increase in the number of reported cases of injuries and even deaths at work.
She stressed that with the validation and subsequent implementation of the regulations, occupational accidents would be reduced to the barest minimum thereby making the work environment safer for all categories of workers.
Regulations, she added would serve as a benchmark for organisations in both formal and informal sectors of the economy.
Nigeria already has an existing law where workers who sustain injury in the cause of doing their official duties are compensated through the Employees Compensation Act.