Apprasal of Employers’ Liability for Injuries Resulting from Breach of Nigerian Industrial Safety Laws
Apprasal of Employers’ Liability for Injuries Resulting from Breach of Nigerian Industrial Safety Laws.
Safety is one of the most important needs of man today. Safety at workplace on the other hand is paramount and cannot in any way be ignored. Many vibrant and resourceful person have lost their precious lives and some have suffered permanent and temporal incapacities just because safety measures were not put in place.
The June 3rd 2012 illfated Dana Airline crash in Lagos which claimed a lot of lives and the recent crashes that could have been averted if the aviation sector had taken the required safety measures. No matter the monetary compensation that the country and or the airlines pay, it is nothing to be compared to the emotional trauma the incident had caused.
More so, in other industries, people are dying daily all because of absence or inadequate safety measures in place. It is therefore very expedient to pursue industrial safety with all vigor to avoid the drastic waste of human resources in our industries. Employers should come to terms with the provisions of the law and know their liabilities.
When industrial safety is breached, employees should know their rights to safety at workplaces, how to seek redress where their rights are breached and the compensation due to them as provided by the law. All these necessitated the title of this discourse thus “Apprasial of Employers’ Liabilities for Injuries Resulting from Breach of Nigerian Industrial Safety laws”.
Across all sectors of the economy, workers are sometimes, if not often involved in industrial accidents. Such accidents range from minor to fatal leading to the loss of life and limb. Industrial accidents are traceable to the period of Industrial Revolution which was the transition to new manufacturing processes from 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840 in England.
During this period, crude machinery invented was used in industrial production. Over the centuries machinery for the production of goods and services has improved tremendously but such improved machinery brought with it its own hazards to industrial safety.
Stake holders in developed countries improve in their knowledge and skills to keep abreast with the rapid development while their counterparts in the developing countries seem to advance slowly in this regard, this may be as a result of the sociological and socioeconomic factors.
In Nigeria for instance, some workers as a result of unemployment and poverty do all manner of work to earn a living without considering the nature of the job and or the workplace environment which may pose some health challenges to them.
Employers are legally under a duty to see to the safety of their employees. Thus the English Court in the case of Wilsons & Clyde Coal & Co Ltd v English held that there are three main duties of an employer to the employee; provision of competent staff, adequate plant and safe system of work.
However, employers tend to prefer the maximization of profits to the safety of the employees. This seems to be the reason why industrial safety is treated with much levity by Nigerian employers.
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Bamber L., et al Tolley’s Health and Safety at Work Handbook, [London: Halsbruy House, 2010].
Chianu E. Employment Law, 2nd Edition. [Ondo Nigeria: Bemical Publishers, 2006].
Chandler P., A- Z of Employment Law, A Complete Reference Source for the Managers 4th Edition,[United Kingdom: Kogan Page Limited 2003].
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