The Federal Government and other stakeholders from the Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (INDT) and Lifting Equipment Inspectors’ Association (LEIA) have raised concerns over the observed sharp practices that could undermine safety of workers in the sector.The group had equally reiterated the need to clampdown on the activities of quacks, stressing that the development raised barriers to addressing risks and disasters in workplaces.
In some presentations made at a one-day National Stakeholders Awareness and Sensitisation Workshop in Abuja, experts, including the Managing Director, Hull Inspection Services Limited, Uchenna Duaka, said sharp practices in the sector would undermine progress in the nation’s manufacturing, oil, gas and allied industries, adding that the enforcement of related regulations would address the menace.
The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Donald Alasoadura, had said there were setbacks in workplace disaster management due to the lack of regulations, codes of practice and guidelines, which would have enhanced the provisions of the Factories Act.
Alasoadura, who was also at the forum noted: “Going forward, the effective implementation of the Regulations would undoubtedly, lead to a significant reduction of the risks associated with lifting equipment, boilers and pressure vessels.
“I, therefore, call for strict adherence to the guidelines specified in the Regulations, and the adoption of established good practices.”Enacted in 2004, Factories Act was designed to ensure occupational safety and health of Nigerian workers.
The minister said: “With this development, we will apprehend any sharp practices in the industry. We have started the awareness to inform the industry that there is a new regulation in place, which will have impacts in their businesses both in the manufacturing and oil and gas sector. It will no longer be business as usual.”
According to him, government and stakeholders are ready to uphold safety of lives and properties in the industry, in order to spur development to the nation.However, Duaka, a member of INDT added that the timely intervention from stakeholders would enable government to limit revenue loss and importation of inexperience workforce from other country. Duaka stated that should the development be permitted to continue, confidence in certification process would remain a challenge.