By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, has tasked Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prepare to mitigate office place disasters such as bombs, bomb threat, building collapse, toxic gas releases, chemical spills, floods and radiological accidents.
Oyo-Ita gave the charge at the weekend while inaugurating the Technical Committee for the Development of the Public Service Emergency Management Policy and the Joint Committee for the Development of the Framework for the Implementation of Occupational Safety and Health.
The two committees are to be headed by the Permanent Secretary Service Welfare Office, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack.
She said her office had developed a booklet on public service emergency action plan guide, detailing how to plan for work place emergencies and evacuation.
According to her, the booklet provides a generic overview of standards, procedures and protocols to mitigate damages caused by potential events such as fire outbreaks in the federal civil service secretariats nationwide and holistic approach to emergency management and safety in the workplace.
“Emergencies in a work environment are inevitable. Their occurrence causes serious disruption of the functioning of the system; leading to widespread human, material economic and environmental losses Workplace injury, illness, incapacitation and deaths invariably impose large costs on employers and national economies. It follows therefore, that the connection between workplace health, safety and workers optimum productivity can no longer be neglected,” Oyo-Ita said.
The HoS said the report of the committees, if well implemented, would result in a safe and healthy environment with a lot of benefits to workers.
The joint committees, comprising critical stakeholders, including Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Federal Fire Service and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) would be expected to develop a framework for the implementation of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).
The National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health and the Employees Compensation Act (ECA) would serve as working document for the committees expected to submit their report by April this year.