NSITF tasks employees on safety measures at workplace
The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Lagos Island branch, has urged employees and business owners to adopt strict regulations, practices and procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces, especially with the emergence of the third wave.
Speaking at the 2021 World Health and Safety Day, the Assistant General Manager, NSITF, Lagos Island, Erebi Kia, said the pandemic had exposed all workers and people in the world.
She said workplace, where workers spend time indoors in proximity to one another, work interactions, shared accommodation and transport, have, in some cases become sources of outbreak of the virus.
Kia attributed this to the difficulty of practising physical distancing indoors and poor ventilation, adding that the first and second wave of the virus had a huge impact on the world of work, ranging from the immediate threat of acquiring the virus to widespread job losses in different sectors as well as the closure of businesses.
Kia, who spoke on the theme, ‘Anticipate, Prepare and Respond to Crisis. Invest Now in Resilient OSH System’, during a road walk sensitisation campaign to commemorate the event, said employers and business owners must adopt new work practices and procedures to mitigate the spread of the virus in workplaces, which could also create new occupational safety health risks such as chemical, ergonomic and psychological hazards.
“We must protect ourselves first, we sensitise employers to be safety conscious in the environment of their workplaces so that we will minimise to a reasonable extent, the spread of COVID-19. Like the no mask, no entry at the entrance of companies should be enforced. Everyone must wear their masks and make their environment safe for the employers and employees to avoid death and virus infection,” she said.
Also speaking, Head of HSE, NSITF, Oluferan Sunday, said while India is presently experiencing the third wave, Nigerian employees must respond promptly to every form of a pandemic to prevent the virus from spreading at the workplace.
He said many countries have adopted new regulations to reduce the spread of the virus in the workplace by addressing the specific needs and conditions of different sectors with detailed procedures and protocols.
These measures, he said, include temporary workplace closure, requirements on physical distancing, working from home arrangement, safe commuting to and from the workplace as well as provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to all workers, among others.
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