By Bimbola Oyesola, [email protected]
As the world celebrated Safety and Health Day at the weekend, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has called on stakeholders to invest in resilient occupational, safety and health (OSH) practices to promote, protect and strengthen effective policies and regulatory framework for the prevention of workplace disabilities.
The NSITF said effective national OSH policies and regulatory framework would give better response to crisis and emergencies in the future.
Deputy general manager of the NSITF’s Ikeja branch, Toyin Emeordi, said this during the celebration of Safety and Health Day, marked every April 28, to create awareness for stakeholders and the general public on the importance of safety and health at work.
Speaking on this year’s global theme “Anticipate, Prepare and Respond to Crisis,” Emeordi said the fund embarked on a road walk for the purpose of advocacy and awareness to sensitize the public to bring out the various challenges faced by the federal government, employers, employees and the society at large on efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The branch manager said it was also to create awareness on the outbreak of infectious diseases at work and how to combat them as well as inform stakeholders about the importance of creating and practising safety at the workplace.
According to her, it had been so designated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to prevent occupational hazards and curtail the spread of diseases in the workplace. She opined that, for employees to work at their optimum, they need to be healthy and safe at all times.
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on nearly all walks of life, threatening the normal way of work and doing business, education, social interactions and engagements, as a result, she said, changes had to be made, especially in hygiene and mobility.
Emeordi explained that the workplace should be cleaned regularly and frequent hand-washing practiced to prevent the spread of diseases, adding that safety and hygiene policies/practices should be set up and complied with in the workplace.
“The NSITF is an institution that combines efforts and resources of relevant stakeholders for the prevention of workplace disabilities, including the enforcement of occupational safety and health standard.
“We assist stakeholders in appreciating the importance of safety by creating awareness about the importance of workplace safety and health, equip workplaces with emergency exits, PPEs, fire hoses and extinguishers in case of fires,” she said.
She stated that the Employee’s Compensation Scheme (ECS) provides services that bring substantial benefits to employers, employees, government and the general public preventive service (enlightenment on safety at work place); curative and rehabilitation of injured employees in case of work-related diseases, disabilities, injuries and compensatory services (for example, medical expenses refund, loss of productivity, disability).
“We will continue to solicit a renewed and sustained relationship with our stakeholders,” she said.