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The House Safety Standards and Regulations Committee has issued a seven-day ultimatum to 20 companies involved in manufacturing, construction, tank farms and logistics operations in the petroleum sector to hand over the documents relevant to their health, safety and environmental policies.
Committee chairman Ibrahim Hamza issued the ultimatum at the end of a four-day monitoring visit and on-site assessment of some companies’ facilities in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Some of the companies visited were Intels, Brawal Shipping Nigeria Ltd, Notore Chemicals Industries Plc, Oando Plc, West African Container Terminal, Tonimas, MI Nigeria Ltd, Julius Berger, Total Energies, Indorama PetroChemical Ltd, Sahara Energy, Schlumberger Nigeria Ltd and Aos Orwell Ltd operating in Onne and Port Harcourt.
Lawmakers have denounced the spate of fires at oil and gas facilities in parts of the country, stressing the need for public and private sector employers to strictly adhere to relevant HSE regulations, in a bid to protect the lives of Nigerian workers. and expatriates as well as investments.
Hamza said, “As you can see, over the past 96 hours we have done an extensive and intensive advocacy tour around over 20 businesses in and around River State; manufacturing companies, construction companies, oil and gas industries. We have seen many things.
“What we’re actually doing is doing an on-the-spot assessment and analysis of what’s really going on in the industry with respect to health and safety issues and we’ve seen a lot.
“When we return to our destination, we are going to have a desk review of what we have seen and analyze it and see how we can propose laws or make changes to existing laws to make sure there are effectiveness in protecting health and safety in our work environment.
The President also stressed the need for labor employers to introduce and enforce policies against bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace. “The bullying policy is all encompassing in the health and safety management systems. So I’m sure once those policies are improved, all of those things will be taken care of,” he said.
Hamza therefore ordered all companies to submit health and safety documents in accordance with Checklist 84 compiled by the committee within the next seven days for further legislative review.