Health and Safety

Employer Cares

An employer is required to protect the health and safety of workers at the workplace in accordance with the provisions of Factories Act and Labour Law.

It is obligatory for the employer, under employment contract to provide safe system and place of work and to take measures to ensure the safety of the worker. Generally, these health and safety laws are applicable only to factories.

It is the duty of the employer to ensure cleanliness in the factory, factories must not be overcrowded during the work. There must be proper ventilation, lighting. drainage of floors and sanitary conveniences.

 

Employer must ensure safety of worker from injury to their health and dangers of work and machinery by providing safe workplace and work equipment; by complying with the conditions of health, safety and occupational health; and ensuring that machines and work equipment are installed and kept in safe conditions.

Workers must not get involved in tasks that can cause injury or that are hazardous such as dangerous liquids and fumes, explosives, and inflammable dusts, gases, vapours and other substances. Workers must receive proper training and work under the supervisor who has thorough knowledge and experience of the machine.

Employer must also provide and maintain an adequate supply of drinking water, washing facilities, first aid and a place for the workers to store their clothing. It is the duty of the employer to keep health and safety records and make them available to the inspector, when required.

Employees must also not willfully and without reasonable cause do anything likely to endanger themselves or any other person. They should use any means or appliance for securing health or safety provided for their use; and should not willfully interfere with or misuse any means, appliance, convenience or other item provided to secure health, safety or welfare in the factory.

Source: §7-50 of the Factories Act (Cap F1 LFN 2004)

Free Protection

It is obligatory for the employer to provide free personal protective equipment to the workers. According to the Factories Act, if workers are employed in any process involving excessive exposure to wet or to injurious or offensive substance, suitable protective clothing and appliances, including, where necessary, suitable gloves, footwear, goggles and head coverings, are provided and maintained for the use of such workers.

Effective screens are provided to avoid exposure to the electric arc flash if a worker is involved in electric arc welding.

Source: §47 & 48 of the Factories Act (Cap F1 LFN 2004)

Training

The employer must acquaint the employees before commencement of work about the hazards they might be exposed to in their occupation and train them about the preventive measures that must be taken to ensure health and safety at workplace. A worker is required to abide the instructions to maintain health and safety at the workplace.

Inexperienced worker is not employed at any machine or in any process, being a machine or process that can lead to cause bodily injury, unless he has been fully instructed as to the dangers related to it and the precautions that should be taken into account. Workers receive a sufficient training to work at the machine or in the process; or they work under adequate supervision by a person who has a thorough knowledge and experience of the machine or process.

Source: §23 of the Factories Act (Cap F1 LFN 2004)

Labour Inspection System

Labour inspection is one of the main responsibilities of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity. Ministry inspectors conduct routine inspections and inspections based on complaints. Source of the complaint is kept confidential.

An inspector may enter, inspect and examine factories at any time; require the production of relevant records, certificates, notices and documents, and inspect, examine and copy any of them; conduct such enquiries as are necessary to ascertain whether or not the statutory provisions are being complied with; conduct examinations, tests and analyses, and take photographs and samples; question any person about relevant matters, and require any such person to sign a "declaration of the truth" of these matters, although no one may be required to answer any question or give any evidence tending to incriminate himself/herself; and carry out such medical examinations as may be necessary.

Employer and its representatives must facilitate the inspector. Any kind of hurdle in his work is an offence, punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.

An inspector may issue an improvement notice if he finds that the equipment/machinery used in the factory are not in good condition and they can cause bodily injury.

An inspector may issue a prohibition notice if he finds that the factory or a part of it is in such a condition that it can risk the health and safety of the workers. Use of factory or its part is prohibited until the risk is rectified. After taking the specified steps, the notice can be revoked on application by the employer.

Source: §63-68 of the Factories Act (Cap F1 LFN 2004)

Regulations on Health and Safety

  • Factories Act (Cap F1 LFN 2004)
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