The federal government has said that the participation and cooperation of all relevant stakeholders in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is crucial in protecting work environments and promoting the safety and health of workers in the country.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, stated this in Abuja at the symposium organised as part of activities to commemorate the 2022 World Day for Safety and Health, an annual event celebrated on 28 April for the promotion of the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.
According to him, such meaningful participation by relevant parties would promote a strong OSH system, which is crucial in protecting the work environment and ultimately safeguarding the safety and health of workers.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Dr John Magbadelo, stated that the continued collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders, across all sectors, would lead to achieving the highest level of safety, health and wellbeing of all workers in the country.
He noted that the theme for this year’s commemoration, “Act together to build a positive Safety and Health culture”, emphasised the importance of collective action by all stakeholders to guard the health and safety of workers.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we had seen that having a strong OSH system, which includes meaningful participation of governments, employers, workers, public health actors and all relevant parties at the national and enterprise level, has been crucial in protecting working environments and safeguarding the safety and health of workers,” he said.
Keyamo stated that the federal government remained committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for workers, in line with the ILO agenda for decent work.
He noted that “the federal government is consistently taking proactive steps towards achieving a safe and healthy working environment through national programmes, legislations and collective agreements on Occupational Safety and Health, in line with ILO agenda for decent work.”
Keyamo commended the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in driving the improvement of of Occupational Safety, Health, and Welfare of the Nigerian workers, as well as committed to building a positive safety and health culture.
In welcoming stakeholders to the symposium, Director, Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Dr John Magbadelo, represented by Director, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), Mrs Lauretta Adogu, stated that “a positive OSH culture is built on inclusion, through the meaningful involvement of all parties in the ongoing improvement of safety and health at work.”
He defined a strong OSH culture as one in which “the right to a safe and healthy working environment is valued and promoted by both management and workers.”
Activities for the commemoration of the Day included road show/rally, medical outreach, distribution of posters, flyers and other Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials, all aimed at promoting a healthy culture at work.
Present at the symposium were representatives of International Labour Organisation (ILO), Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Nigeria Labour Organisation (NLC), World Safety Organisation, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Federal Fire Service, among others.