The Federal Government has called for increased investigation into causes of workers’ safety incidents in workplaces, as a way of preventing future occurrences.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, made the call in Abuja when he received the Report of the Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate the death of Richard Gbadebo, a student, while working in the premises of Expand Global Industries Ltd, Ibadan, Oyo State (HENKEL).
According to a statement signed by the Deputy Director press in the ministry, Charles Akpan, the minister stated that when safety incidents occur in workplaces, it is the function of the Ministry to ascertain the causes and make recommendations to prevent future occurrences.
Keyamo stated the need “to up the ante, raise the standard” in safeguarding the workers in workplaces, as “the safety of workers is one of the paramount considerations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and all those involved in the world of work.”
The Minister noted that the Panel was set up in furtherance of guaranteeing the safety of workers.
“We know that lives have been lost, or (A) life has been lost, but the major reason we do all of these is to ensure that other workers, who work within the Nigerian territory, are in safe enough environment.”
He pointed out that it was a departure from the attitude and responses to such incidents in the past, where when such happened, people carried on as if the lives and limbs lost were not important at all.
He stated that though the Report comprises Majority and Minority parts, it showed the fair and balanced nature of the Panel, and projected the different backgrounds of members of the Panel.
The Minister stated that whatever recommendations contained in Report, “the paramount consideration would be to ensure that our workplaces are safe.”
He commended the Chairman and other members of the Panel for their dedication to duty and the expeditious manner in which they carried out their assignment.
Earlier, Chairman of the Panel and Director, Occupational Safety and Health Department of the Ministry, Lauretta Nneka Adogu, stated that the members did a thorough job in a fair, transparent, diligent and professional manner, as they promised at the inauguration of the Panel.
“Every party involved made presentation on the matter. The parties included Head of Factories of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abope Chambers that made a call for setting up the Panel in line with ILO Convention C155, Factories Act Section 38(2b), the family of the deceased, solicitor to the company, and Expand Global Industries Limited (Henkel).
She disclosed that the Parties were interviewed and the members’ observations and recommendations were noted down.
The chairman however explained that there were dissenting opinions over the recommendations which the Panel was presenting to the Minister.
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