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Senate passes Labour Safety Act

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By Henry Umoru & Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJA—Senate, yes-terday, passed the Labour Safety, Health Welfare Bill, which seeks to protect workers from hazards normally associated with their jobs.

The passage of the bill, entitled Occupational Safety and Health Bill 2012, was sequel to discussions on the report of the Joint Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, Health and Establishment and Public Service presented by the Chairman, Senator Wilson Ake, PDP, Rivers West, and 24 others.

The Bill compels employers of labour to provide preventive mechanisms and measures for occupational safety and health, where much emphasis would be concentrated on the prevention of injuries, accidents and elimination of hazards at workplaces.

The bill, which had already been passed by the House of Representatives, was sponsored by Senator Chris Anyanwu, APGA, Imo East.

The Bill seeks to repeal and re-enact the Factory Act, Cap. F1 Laws of the Federation, 2004, make comprehensive provisions for securing the safety, health and welfare of persons at work, protect others against risks to safety and health in connection with activities of persons at work as well as establish the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health and for Other Related Matters, 2012.

It also aims at promoting safe and healthy work environment for employees and protect them from injury and illness at the workplace and make provisions for the protection of pregnant women at the workplace.

The Bill stipulates that employers who breach the relevant sections of law will be liable to imprisonment of not less than one year or a fine not less than N500,000.

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