Essentially, she said the scheme was on the prevention of accidents at workplace, medical treatment in case of accident involving disability, compensation for disabilities and death due to work related injuries and rehabilitation for the injured employees who suffer disability.
She implored employers who are contributing to the ECS to brace up to the challenges of preventing occupational accidents and diseases in their respective workplaces while reminding employers who are yet to key into the scheme to do so, noting that the ECA covers all employers in the public and private sectors of the nation’s economy.
The ECA requires an employer to contribute one per cent of total emolument of employees to a fund managed by NSITF from where a worker involved in an accident in the course of his/her duty is compensated.
An Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) expert with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Dr. Janet Asherson, revealed that not less than two million people lose their lives annually from accidents occurring in workplaces around the world.
Asherson, in a presentation titled ‘Towards an Accident-free Workplace’ traced most workplace accidents to organisational, technological and mechanical faults, ignorance and negligence. She said such accidents can be prevented or reduced to the minimum if precautions and safety measures are put in place thereby reducing huge annual losses to national economy.
Speaking also at the event, Managing Director of NSITF, Mr. Umar Munir Abubakar, there is a global trend on safety awareness and prevention of accidents at workplace noting that the NSITF /NECA national workplace safety awareness campaign was part efforts to prevent accidents at workplace.
Abubakar, while commending employers who are complying with the scheme, also informed recalcitrant employers that the period of grace for non-compliance was over, warning that the NSITF will have no other alternative than to apply the big stick to employers who disobey the law.
“I want to use this opportunity to inform recalcitrant employers that our grace period for tolerating non-compliance is now over. We expect full cooperation and compliance on the scheme, in the absence of which we shall have no other alternative than to apply the big stick, something we very much want to avoid.
“On our part, we are working day in day out to ensure that we serve employers to the best of our ability. We have set up a task force team made up of key personnel and highly qualified professionals to address and review a number of factors that are militating against the smooth compliance,” he said.
He added that the NSITF has concluded plans to reach out to a larger number of employers not yet covered, especially the state and local governments, pledging that the fund will devote enough energy and attention at the beginning of next year in order to capture all the states and local governments as well as other private sector employers not yet captured.