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FG begins review of 2004 Factories Act

The Federal Government has commenced the review of the subsidiary regulations of the 2004 Factories Act, to bring them up to date with international best practices and demands.

Yerima Peter, permanent secretary of the ministry of labour and employment, who spoke on Tuesday, as he flagged off a four-day retreat on the “Review of Obsolete Occupational Safety and Health Regulations”, said those regulations had lost relevance.

He said the Act had been in existence since the inception of the Factories Inspectorate Division (FID) in 1958 and had lost their relevance and become obsolete “due to the rapid and consistent changes in the world of work today.”

Tarfa noted that the basic provisions of the Factories Act, 2004 (as reviewed over the years) had remained the same through the years while “work machines, materials, tools, processes, procedures, methods and standards have been evolving significantly with advances in science and technology.”

2004 Factories Act

The PS, who was represented by the director of occupational safety and health department of the ministry, Lauretta Adogu said the review became necessary on account of “the emergent challenges in workplaces and the need to strengthen the Factories Act through its subsidiary legislations and as required by the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health, and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 187 on the Promotional Framework for the Occupational Safety and Health Convention 2006, which he said was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).”

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Tarfa disclosed that the process of reviewing all obsolete subsidiary legislations under the Factories Act would start with the Factories (Notification of Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations, 1958, and Factories (Registration Fees) Amendment Regulation, 2007 and stressed that the review would lead to achieving a safe and healthy working environment, in line with the ILO agenda for decent work.

He also pointed out that the review would give to enhanced data collection and improved revenue generation, as well as reduced illnesses, diseases, injuries, and deaths amongst workers in the country, which he said, would ultimately give a lead to increased productivity and national economic growth.

The PS added that the implementation of the reviewed regulations would impact positively on the national workforce, workplaces and economy.

He noted that Section 49 of the Factories Act empowers the minister of labour and employment “to issue regulations for securing the safety, health, welfare and protection of workers” in the nation’s workplaces, and by that empowerment, “the provisions of the Act are continually brought in line with the dynamics of the current rapidly changing world of work.”

He urged the participants to carry out their assignment with professionalism, dedication, and patriotism, saying the input of the retreat would add value to “the performance of National Occupational Safety and Health Management System in Nigeria.”

Lauretta Adobe, director of occupational safety and health department, while welcoming the participants, disclosed that the essence of the retreat was to review the occupational safety and health regulations and come up with a draft document for subsequent validation.

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