The federal government has said that 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases annually while 374 million suffer from non-fatal occupational accidents globally each year.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, stated this while commemorating the 2019 World Day for Safety and Health at Work Tuesday in Abuja.
The World Day for Safety and Health at work is celebrated globally on April 28 with the 2019 theme adopted by Nigeria as Safety and Health and the Future of Work’.
Ngige said these statistics are alarming and the economic cost was enormous, unquantifiable and tragic.
“This is considering that such immeasurable human suffering and catastrophes caused by poor occupational safety and health practices and conditions are largely preventable,” he said.
Ngige, represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr William Alo, said government had taken measures towards promoting safe and healthy future of workers.
“You can attest to the fact that technological advancement including digital technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics nanotechnology, and increasing automation is becoming more common in the workplace and machines are now attempting to take over the role of humans.
“In a renewed effort at addressing changing patterns and emerging risks in workplaces, the government has embarked on measures in ensuring safe, healthy and decent work for all.
“Government has also embarked on measures to promote a culture of prevention through various workplace interventions that include the vigorous enforcement of extant labour laws through conduct and factory inspections of workplaces, nationwide.
“In addition, employment patterns and structures are shifting with the introduction of new forms of employment such as outsourcing, contract staffing, and a host of other non-standard forms of employment.
“All of these now present various threats and challenges to the safety and well-being of workers which must be addressed by the future of work,” he said.