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The Federal Government says it has commenced the process of reviewing the obsolete subsidiary regulations of the Factories Act, 2004.

Dr Yerima Tarfa, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, said this during the opening of a four-day retreat on the “Review of Obsolete Occupational Safety and Health Regulations” on Tuesday in Abuja.

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Tarfa was represented by Director, Occupational Safety and Health Department in the ministry, Mrs Lauretta Adogu.

He said the commencement of the process would bring them up to date with international best practices and demands.

He also said those regulations needed to be reviewed, as they had been in existence since the inception of Factories Inspectorate Division (FID) in 1958.

The regulations, he added, had lost their relevance and become obsolete due to the rapid and consistent changes in the world of work today.

He noted that the basic provisions of the Factories Act 2004, as reviewed over the years, had remained the same through the years.

”But work machines, materials, tools, processes, procedures, methods and standards have been evolving significantly with advances in science and technology.

”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.

”Also, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 187 on the Promotional Framework for the Occupational Safety and Health Convention 2006, which was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC),” he said.

He also said the process of reviewing all obsolete subsidiary legislations under the Factories Act would start with the Factories which include the notification of Dangerous Occurrences and regulations of 1958 and Factories Registration,  Fees, among others and the Amendment Regulation, 2007.

The Permanent Secretary also said that the review would lead to achieving a safe and healthy working environment, in line with the ILO agenda for decent work.

Tarfa said that the review would give way to enhanced data collection and improved revenue generation, as well as reduced illnesses, diseases, injuries and deaths amongst workers in the country.

He further said this would ultimately give lead to increased productivity and national economic growth.

He 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.

He also said 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, as the input of the retreat would add value to the performance of National Occupational Safety and Health Management System in Nigeria.

He added 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.

Also, Mrs Lauretta Adogu, Director, Occupational Safety and Health Department in the ministry, represented by Dr Ummu Abubakar, said that Occupational Safety and Health is concerned with the protection and promotion of the health and safety of workers. 

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