NSITF pays N1 billion in five years to injured workers
The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), said it paid more than N1 billion to workers that sustained injuries in the work place.
The General Manager, Health and Safety Department of the Fund, Dr Kelly Nwagba, who disclosed this during the celebration of 2019 Occupational Health Safety (OSH) day, in Abuja, urged employers of labour to prioritise occupational safety in the work environment.
While admitting that occupational hazards are inevitable in the course of work, Nwagba stressed that NSITF has been alive to its responsibility by ensuring prompt settlement of claims by injured workers.
He explained that as a ‘no fault’ scheme, Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) is for the benefit of both workers and employers in a win-win situation.
He argued that productivity would increase when workers work without inhibition knowing that he or she would be taken care of in case of injury and also that dependants would not suffer in case of death.
In addition to paying the N1 billion to injured workers, Nwagba added that the construction and manufacturing sectors experienced the highest victims in work place related accidents.
He explained that though the NSITF is committed to compensating workers who suffer work-related accident, it is equally important for employers to first of all ensure they prevent such accidents from happening by providing a friendly environment
He said: “We have also been paying claims and compensation to those who either got injured in the work place or on their way, and they cannot get back to their optimum level, we have been paying compensation to those categories.
“The current management when they came on board made it a point of duty to ensure that everybody that got injured should go through what we call ‘rehabilitation’. We have paid not less than a billion Naira in the last five years.
“NSITF is an institution that is charged under the Employees’ Compensation Act (ECA) 2010, to, not only compensate workers who are injured in the course of work, but also strongly and unambiguously mandated to combine efforts and resources of relevant stakeholders for the prevention of workplace disabilities. These includes the enforcement of OSH standards in all work places, (ECA 2010; Sec.1 (F)). To this end, the NSITF implements Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems (OSHMS) with the goal to first of all prevent work related accidents and diseases and ensuring OSH standards, but where accidents and diseases occur, rehabilitates and compensates as appropriate.”
He added that the OSH day reminds all the stakeholders in the work environment the urgent need, not only to put in place safety measures aimed at preventing occupational hazards, but to avoid factors and practices that may lead to injuries.
Dr Nwagba also enjoined employers and workers to observe factors that influence safety and health dynamics.