Hotels, Night Clubs Get Ultimatum

Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) has given hospitality businesses owners a week ultimatum to show evidence of their compliance with safety regulations or risk sanctions.

Those who fail to comply with the directive would be barred from operating during the Yuletide, the commission’s Director-General, Fuad Oki, said, pointing out that the directive became imperative to avert disasters.

He said it had become compulsory for managers of hospitality business, especially those in highbrow areas, to come up with their safety emergency plans for assessment of their compliance with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) regulations.

Warning that the era of business as usual was over, Oki said erring operators would be prosecuted and their business premises shut.

According to him, school and event centre operators have also been given a January deadline to comply with the OSH regulations. The government, he said, would not compromise on its commitment to ensure safety standards in public institutions.

His words: “Let me make it very clear that LSSC will not be shy in its use of the General Duty Clause (GDC) even in cases where a standard exists but an employer could have provided more protections to its employees.

“The night clubs on Victoria Island and in Ikeja are under watch for gross non-compliance with emergency preparedness, lack of correct occupancy requirement, egress identification and among others. These establishments are given one week to comply with all safety extant regulations.”

Failure to display LSSC safety certificate by any operator within the business premises would be deemed as flouting the OSH regulations, he said, reminding the operators that the commission has been empowered by the LSSC Law No. 6 of 2011 to enforce OSH.

He said: “Our event centres, entertainment halls and amusement parks are enjoined to apply for safety compliance certificates as they will not be permitted to operate during the Yuletide without appropriate safety compliance certificates.”

Oki said the commission’s scheduled tours of premises were not yielding results, accusing business managers of organising make-shift OSH compliance whenever they have a foreknowledge of the visits. They slide back to their non-compliant status after the LSSC inspectors’ exit, he added.

According to him, the new unscheduled strategy has paid off as stop work orders were issued to some managers who were caught unawares. Some premises were sealed outright,” Oki said, adding:  “So far, a total of 20 factories have been inspected and 10 of them were sealed off for various infractions and substantial violations of OSH laws.

“In the same vein, 120 residential dwellings found to be very distressed and on the verge of collapse or for very unsanitary and unhygienic reasons have been sealed.”

He, however, informed that 78 of such premises have since been reopened after complying with the OSH laws and extant regulations.

“It is pertinent to state that the intention of the commission is not to punish but to correct. Hence, when any company is sealed off, the objective is to ensure that such company makes the necessary correction, the order to reopen is issued,” the LSSC director said.



Source: The Nation Nigeria

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