The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Sen. Donald Alasoadura, has called for strict adherence to guidelines of the Factories Act to reduce risks and disasters in the workplace.
Alasoadura made this call at a One-day National Stakeholders Awareness and Sensitisation Workshop on ‘The Lifting and Allied Work Equipment Safety Regulations 2018’ in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the lack of regulations, codes of practice and guidelines to provide appropriate benchmarks to complement the provisions of the Factories Act had been major setbacks.
The Factories Act Cap F1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 was solely enacted for the protection of the occupational safety and health of Nigerian workers in all occupations.
He said there is the need to promote occupational safety as the act would guide the implementation of intervention and inspection programmes to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
The minister noted that such regulations constituted a critical component of a sound promotional framework for Occupational Safety and Health, and the development of a National Preventative Safety and Health Culture.
“Going forward, the effective implementation of the Regulations would undoubtedly, lead to a significant reduction of the risks associated with lifting equipment, boilers and pressure vessels.
“I therefore, call for strict adherence to the guidelines specified in the Regulations, and the adoption of established good practices.”
He noted that this will ultimately lead to enhancement of productivity and a boost on the nation’s gross domestic product.
This, he said was because such equipment are in use as work equipment in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy such as the Oil and Gas, Marine, Manufacturing, and Construction Sectors.
Alasoadura, however, pledged the support of the ministry to ensure the highest standards of safety and health practices and procedures in workplaces nationwide.
Mr Emmanuel Nwaka, National President, National Guild of Boiler Inspectors of Nigerian (NAGOBIN), said all persons or organisation involved in the business of inspection, and certification of boilers, shall be registered as an approved inspection agency by the Director of Factories.
Nwaka stressed the need for constant training of persons or organisation, involved in such processes towards adherence to global best practices.
“We want constant training for safety promotion, this can be through capacity building’’.
Dr Runo Onosode, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Nigeria Representative, said the organisation’s constitution sets forth the principle that workers must be protected from sickness, disease and injury arising from their employment.
According to her, the event has shown Nigeria’s’ commitment to promote occupational safety and health, saying promoting a national preventive safety and health culture needed more commitment.
Onosode reiterated the commitment of the ILO to continue to partner with the Nigerian government and other stakeholders towards preventative workplace safety and health culture.
The Factories Act of 1990 was promulgated as Decree No. 16 of 1987 (now Factories Act Cap F1 LFN 2004) which is the primary legislation for the protection of the safety, health and welfare of workers.
It makes provisions for the health, safety and welfare of workers exposed to occupational hazards by taking measures to prevent accidents and injuries.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
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