Safety at Work: NSITF conducts 5,592 workplace inspections

2024-04-30 21:55:59

Blueprint Newspapers Limited

The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has called for proactive measures to safeguard the safety and well-being of workers in the face of climate change.

The Fund noted that it had, in pursuit of the Safety at Work Agenda, conducted 5,592 occupational safety and health activities at various work places across the nation in the last one year.

In an address to mark the 2024 World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the Managing Director of the NSITF, Maureen Allagoa Esq, said the agency was fully committed to creating safe, healthy, and sustainable workplaces for all Nigerian workers.

According to a statement signed by General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Nwachukwu Godson, the MD said: "The prevention of workplace accidents through a robust occupational safety and health (OSH) programmes is the first step in the dynamic processes of the Employees' Compensation. OSH is the primary charge in our responsibilities as the nation's apex social security organisation. And we have pursued this life-saving process with all vigour since I assumed office about a year ago. The reason is that a well-managed NSITF anchors strongly on accident prevention rather than on rehabilitation, payment of claims, or compensations, which may be inversely proportional to the failure of occupational safety activities. Our target, therefore, is to intensify efforts and double the figure by this time next year.

"Broken down, this figure shows that between May 2023 to April 2024, our agency which is ever committed to the improvement of safety and health in the world of work, conducted a total of 3234 occupational health and safety audit, a total of 1614 awareness and enlightenment campaigns, and 744 follow-up on cases in various workplaces across the federation, using our 12 regional and 57 branch offices. We are geared to do more."

On the theme of this year's event, which centres on the impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health, Allagoa said while focus has been on the environmental and humanitarian impacts, it is crucial to recognise that climate change also poses significant challenges to occupational safety and health.

The NSITF as the custodian of workplace safety and health, she said, had already adopted proactive measures to tackle these challenges head-on.

"This calls for a multidisciplinary approach that integrates environmental sustainability with occupational health and safety practices," she added.

To fully achieve this, she said the NSITF had through its OSH officers nationwide, prioritized prevention through education and training, raising awareness about the potential hazards associated with climate change while providing workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify risks and take appropriate precautions.

In specifics, the Managing Director said the Fund's OSH officers had been creating awareness on the impacts of climate change in workplaces, sensitising workers on safety measures, and the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the prevention of disease and illnesses.

Other efforts include identifying potential hazards at workplaces, training workers on first aid treatment and response to emergencies, investigating causes of workplace accidents so as to forestall re-occurrence, recommending safety standards and leading the vanguard of tree planting campaign to reduce greenhouse effects.

She further urged employers of labour in the formal and informal sector to invest in the development of resilient infrastructure and protective equipment to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events and environmental hazards.

She observed that this measure should include the implementation of robust emergency response plans and ensuring that workplaces can withstand the challenges posed by climate change.

The climax of the event came with the ceremonial tree planting at the premises of the Fund by the Managing Director, assisted by officers from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board . The activities ended with a road show to create awareness and the distribution of free waste bins at different business locations in the FCT.

2024-04-30 News