The highlight of the event was the presentation of various categories of award to employers whose safety records are considered worth emulating.
President of NECA, Chief Richard Uche, who spoke on the award, said the recognition and award given to the recipient companies was to increase awareness and encourage employers in the country to take issue of occupational safety more seriously.
“We are recognising those companies that are OSH compliant as indicated by our maiden pilot OSH Audit Report with the donation and presentation of ambulances and plagues to outstanding OSH compliant companies. Some others will be presented with OSH infrastructure to facilitate compliance,” he said.
On how the recipients of the award emerged, Uche said: “30 companies in Lagos and Ogun States were invited to participate in the pilot OSH Compliance Audit which was conducted in May/June 2012 out of which 25 companies participated in the exercise and the Audit Report which was presented to the NSITF made specific recommendations on each company. This includes capacity building and upgrading of OSH infrastructure.
Implementing the recommendations of the report, the project desk at NECA, in collaboration with the project OSH Consultant, had already organised three capacity building programmes for selected companies between October 8 and 19, some of which were aided with the donation of OSH infrastructure to facilitate compliance, while those that performed exceedingly well in the Audit went home with ambulances and plaques.
Uche assured that the Audit would be extended to companies in other parts of the country in subsequent years.
Although a number of companies received plaques and safety infrastructure to enhance their compliance with OSH; Nigerian Breweries, Guinness Plc, Unilever and Nestle Plc were rewarded with ambulances for topping the list of compliant companies.
He however called on NSITF to demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness in managing the pool of funds arising from the implementation of the ECA 2010 and continue its parley with stakeholders.
“As employers, we will continue to be law-abiding by complying with the provisions of the ECA. But more importantly, we will continue to show interest in the health and safety of our employees, which is why we are calling on the NSITF to expand the scope of this project in the years to come.
“We are also calling on the management of NSITF to demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of this scheme, as that is the only way to promote sustainability and voluntary compliance with the law,” he added.