The Federal Government is reviewing its Occupational Safety and Health Regulations as required by the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 187 in order to effectively address identified workplace safety and health concerns in the world of work.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollom S. Daju, mni, stated this in Abuja at the start of a two-day review and validation workshop for the review of obsolete Occupational Safety and Health Regulations.
She noted that challenges of safety, health, welfare and protection of workers are ever emerging and necessitate the 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 Adogu Lauretta, 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.
Daju 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.
In welcoming stakeholders, the Director, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) 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, stressing 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.
She added that the Regulations would serve as a benchmark for organisations in both formal and informal sectors of the economy.
Present at the Review and Validation workshop were representatives of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Secretary General of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, among others.