Workers are often exposed to avalanche of occupational hazards and diseases. What happens when workers contact diseases at their workplace? Are workers entitled to compensation and who pays such compensation? What is the place of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)?
All employees/workers in Nigeria, both private and public, are entitled to compensation for any death, injury or disabling occupational disease in a workplace. This includes infectious diseases contracted in an occupation where there is particular risk of contamination. Health care benefits and compensation are payable by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Management Board out of the Nigeria Social Insurance Fund.
First of all, affected employee or his dependent (where affected employee is dead) must communicate his injury or disease to his employer (or its agent) within 14 days of the occurrence or receipt of information of the occurrence. The communication must contain name of the employee, time and place of occurrence as well as nature and cause of disease/injury in ordinary language. Failure to communicate injury/disease within the above stipulated time, can hinder compensation unless the NSITF board orders otherwise.