The Federal Government has inaugurated the Diving Governing Board to implement the provisions of the Factories (Diving at Work) Regulations, 2018.
Performing the Inauguration in Abuja, Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keysmo, SAN, stated that the development of the Diving at Work Regulations arose out of the need to regulate the Nigerian Diving Sector with a view to preventing occupational accidents in that industry.
Keyamo said that the inauguration of the Board would “give impetus to the emergence of the much needed specific and detailed guidance for the safe use, installation, maintenance and examination of diving programs and operations within our territorial waters, dams and other water bodies.”
He charged the Governing Board with the responsibility of guiding “the implementation of intervention and inspection programmes to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities, and to eliminate occupational hazards associated with use of diving equipment.”
The Minister added that In accordance with Regulations 45 of the Diving at Work Regulations, the Board also has the responsibility of making decisions affecting the Diving industry, and drafting approved code of practice to guide training and operational issues relating to diving.
He stated that the Board would also advise and make recommendations to the Minister regarding matters related to the Regulations.
Keyamo enjoined members of the Board to ensure proper conduct in the execution of the tasks before them, and to adhere strictly to the guidelines specified in the Regulations.
He emphasised that effective implementation of the Regulations would certainly lead to a significant reduction of the risks associated with diving operations.
The Diving Governing Board, as provided by the Diving at Work Regulations, 2018, has the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Yerima P. Tarfa, as the Chairperson.
The rest of the membership is composed of the Director of Factories/Director, Occupational Safett and Health Department, a Chief Inspector of Diving, a Diving Medical Specialist, one instructor from an accredited Diving institution, two representatives of a recognized Diving Association, a representative of the Nigerian Navy, and a representative of Nigerian Maritime Adminustration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Earlier, in an address of welcome, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Yerima P. Tarfa, noted that the Diving Regulations established a Diving Board to ensure adherence with the prescribed safety measures in the Diving sector.
According to him, the mandate of the Diving Governing Board is to “supervise and monitor activities in the Diving industry and ensure compliance with prescribed safety measures for the prevention of occupational accidents associated with commercial diving operations.”
Tarfa said that “in order to maintain a healthy diving industry, Government had through the Factory (Diving at Work) Regulations, 2018, a subsidiary Legislation of the Factories Act, CAP F1, LFN, 2004, provided the required occupational safety and health guidelines and protocols to employers and workers in both formal and informal diving industries.