Enforcement of occupational safety and health regulations in Nigeria : an exploration

Umeokafor, Nnedinma, Isaac, David, Jones, Keith and Umeadi, Boniface (2014) Enforcement of occupational safety and health regulations in Nigeria : an exploration. European Scientific Journal, 3, pp. 93-104. ISSN (print) 1857 - 7881


This paper examines the enforcement of occupational safety and health (OSH) regulations; it validates the state of enforcement of OSH regulations by extracting the salient issues that influence enforcement of OSH regulations in Nigeria. It?s the duty of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity (Inspectorate Division) to enforce the Factories Act of 1990, while the Labour, Safety, Health and Welfare Bill of 2012 empowers the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health of Nigeria to administer the proceeding regulations on its behalf. Sadly enough, the impact of the enforcement authority is ineffective, as the key stakeholders pay less attention to OSH regulations; thus, rendering the OSH scheme dysfunctional and unenforceable, at the same time impeding OSH development. For optimum OSH in Nigeria, maximum enforcement and compliance with the regulations must be in place. This paper, which is based on conceptual analysis, reviews literature gathered through desk literature search. It identified issues to OSH enforcement such as: political influence, bribery and corruption, insecurity, lack of governmental commitment, inadequate legislation inter alia. While recommending ways to improve the enforcement of OSH regulations, it states that self-regulatory style of enforcing OSH regulations should be adopted by organisations. It also recommends that more OSH inspectors be recruited; local government authorities empowered to facilitate the enforcement of OSH regulations. Moreover, the study encourages organisations to champion OSH enforcement, as it is beneficial to them; it concludes that the burden of OSH improvement in Nigeria is on the government, educational authorities, organisations and trade unions.

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