The Federal Government has tasked stakeholders on the strict adherence to the Lifting and Allied Work Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2018 and the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Regulations, 2018, approved for the promotion of safety and health at the workplace.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, made the call in Abuja at the One-Day National Stakeholders’ Awareness and Sensitization Workshop on the Lifting and Allied Work Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2018, and the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Regulations 2018.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, William Alo, the Minister noted that the two Regulations would fill the gaps inherent in the Factories Act, and their effective implementation would reduce the risks associated with lifting equipment, boilers and pressure vessels, thereby enhancing occupational safety and health in the various workplaces where such equipment are used.
Alasoadura further stated that with the coming on stream of the two Regulations, “the design, construction, use, installation, maintenance, repairs, examination and testing of lifting equipment, boilers and pressure vessels would henceforth be fully regulated in Nigeria”.
He disclosed that the Factories Act, under which the two Regulations operate, only provided a basic guide, without detailed standards and operational guidelines, adding that the Factories Act had only made provisions in general terms, lacking in “prescribed safety codes, standards and benchmarks for effective operation and thorough examination of these equipment”.
The two Regulations would equally lead to “the enhancement of productivity and a boost on the nation’s gross domestic product, considering that 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”, he added.
According to him, the Regulations would provide specific and detailed guidance for the safe use, maintenance and examination of lifting equipment, boilers and pressure vessels; and would also guide the implementation of intervention and inspection programmes to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities, all geared towards the elimination of occupational hazards associated with the equipment.
He called for the continued collaboration of all stakeholders with Government in achieving the highest level of safety and health in the Lifting and Allied work sector.
In a welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo, disclosed that the two Regulations came on board because over the years, the basic provisions of the Factories Act had remained same while the work machines, materials, tools, processes and methods had changed significantly with advances in technology.
According to him, Section 49 of the Factories Act empowers the Minister of Labour and Employment to issue regulations as the need arise, for securing the safety, health and welfare of workers in the nation’s workplaces.
The Permanent Secretary, represented by Director, Human Resources Management, Ajibola Ibrahim, maintained that the Lifting Equipment (Safety) Regulations, 2018 and Boiler and Pressure Vessel Regulations, 2018 would provide the needed occupational safety and health guidance to the employers’ and workers’ groups in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
In goodwill messages, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Institute of Non-Destructive Testing of Nigeria, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), and Lifting Equipment Inspectors Association respectively pledged support and commitment to the creation of awareness on, and the effective implementation of the Regulations.