1.1   Background to the Study

Occupational health and safety are undoubtedly a new idea as during the commercial revolution of labour activities which explained the issues of workplace or occupational health and safety revealing interest in health and safety relevant problems of labor force. Consistent with these assertions, Lamm, Massey, Perry (2006), in a study carried out in New Zealand, it was revealed that there is increasing and compelling proof that giving a healthy and risk-free working environment has the ability to increase employee performance and consequently enhance business profits. The results of the findings attest to the fact that firms and businesses typically make every effort to become more efficient and in doing so are driving their employees to work much longer, harder and with greater utilization frequently in incredibly unsafe conditions, and just execute health and safety measures to always keep compensation costs down.

In support of these findings, Gemignani (2008), in a longitudinal study carried out in Czech Republic, observed that while exposure to risks related to machinery and manual labour are being minimized, other risks connected to the increase in job commitment are increasing. Gemignani (2008) likewise recommends efforts to increase productivity with occupational safety and health can have contradictory results and point out the gaps in literature that while there is proof that occupational injuries and illnesses influence on job commitment losses, it is not clear whether minimizing injuries and illnesses will automatically affect performance gains. These steps include; occupational Health and Safety training, employees' attitudes, compliance to Occupational health and safety certification demands and Occupational health and safety audits.

Therefore, it is crucial for a corporate organisation like Chevron Nigeria to put in place health and safety plans that might protect their employees from work-related accidents and illness. However, a few of the steps put in place by the oil servicing companies are mandated by law, yet others are based on the fact that the employers wish to enhance efficiency by limiting many hours lost as a result of accident and injuries that happen at work place. Idoro (2011) traced the origin of occupational health and safety policies in Nigeria to United Kingdom and United States of America, where bulk of them are adopted from. The occupational health and safety bill of 2012 in Nigeria was developed to guarantee a risk-free working environment in all industrial sectors both formal and informal industry. As illustrated by Armstrong (2012), the success of a healthy and safe place of work is the obligation of everyone employed in an organisation along with contract staff or casual employees.

However, some organisations lack safety training education, accident prevention measures, and health and safety techniques. Likewise, they are not safety conscious since safety plan procedures are totally missing, therefore subjecting the employees to workplace injuries (Indakwa, 2013). With limited resources to help reduce work injuries, firms struggle with how to best channel these resources to accomplish the greatest reduction in injuries for the ideal cost. The significance of healthy workplaces is seriously being acknowledged as a broad idea affecting quality of life at the individual level to considerable influence on public health at the societal level (Amponsah-Tawiah & Mensah, 2016). With increasing industrialisation and its subsequent increase in industrial accidents and exposure to harmful chemicals with their accompanying health implications for workers and others, the issue of health and safety management has become more pressing than ever. Idubor and Oisamoje (2013) determine unemployment as one of the variables that embolden non-compliance with work health and safety policies by some organisation due to the fact that the level of unemployment in Nigeria is so high and keep increasing.

According to Trading Economics (2013), as mentioned in Umeokafor, Umeadi and Jones (2014), unemployment in Nigeria rose from 21.10 % in 2010 to 23.90 % in 2011 and in the year 2017 dropped at 19.70%. This gives employers the chance to manipulate the employees by paying low salaries or the impunity to take advantage of employees to work under dehumanising conditions provided they have jobs. As a result, if factories works being carried out breach occupational health and safety regulations at the same time under harmful conditions, the employees are not able to complain, for they risk losing their jobs. Iheanacho and Ebitu, (2016), opined that some companies, particularly those in developing nations such as Nigeria, still aim at maintaining or enhancing productivity and profitability at the expense of employee health and safety thus reducing employee job commitment. For instance, International Labour Organisation (2012), reported that 317 million accidents occur on the job every year globally many of these leading to prolonged absences from work. Occupational health and safety for that reason continues to be an essential consideration for all organisations, especially organisations engaged in high-risk operations such as the oil servicing companies and other mining industries (Amponsah-Tawiah & Dartey-Baah, 2011).

Good occupational health and safety techniques not just provide a much safer working environment however also boost employee’s morale and productivity (Landsbergis, Grzywacz, & Lamontage, 2014). By pursuing good occupational health and safety methods, businesses face fewer work environment injuries and gain from higher employee retention rates and improved corporate image (Karbalaei & Shirvani, 2015). It has been observed over time that as a result of the risky nature of jobs in the oil sector, oil workers have the tendency to be most vulnerable to fatalities and diverse occupational hazards, a few of which are preventable if there had been adequate measure in position (Bankole, Ajala, Genty & Oderinde, 2017). Lim (2012) asserts that when employees know the safety rules and procedures of their job and the tools used for working with adequate health and safety education, they will be protected against falling victims to occupational hazards. Hence, the reason for the study on the influences of the occupational health and safety management system on employee’s job commitment of Chevron Nigeria Limited.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

        The fast industrialisation in over three decades, which emerged from global technology advancement, has regularly made Nigerian workers, particularly those in the oil servicing firms, prone to the high risks of work-related risks such as hearing loss, skin and lung cancer. The obvious shortfalls in protection of vulnerable employees have implications for job commitment. For example, work congress on safety and health in Singapore 2015 report, claims there were 2.4million fatalities because of fatal work-related diseases, an increase of 0.4million compared to 2011, in total. It is approximated that more than 7,500 people die every day; 1,000 from occupational accidents and 6,500 from work-related diseases (Hamalainen, Takala, & Kiat, 2017). Regrettably, despite high incidences of industrial mishaps going in the oil servicing organisations, the human resources managers and the industrial relations practitioners in that industry appear not to give appropriate attention to the issue of occupational health and safety but rather emphasis is mainly laid on problems associating with salary increase, minimum wage and the likes. However, previous studies such as Yusuf, Eliyana and Sari (2012) concentrated on occupational safety and health on efficiency with job satisfaction far away in Indonesia, Iheanacho and Ebitu (2013) focused on occupational health and safety methods as they relate to job performance of employees especially in the urban cities like Cross River. This study however focused attention on occupational health and safety as it relates to employees’ job commitment of Chevron Nigeria Limited.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to investigate the influences of the occupational health and safety management system on employee’s job commitment of Chevron Nigeria Limited. However, the specific objectives include:

i)             To ascertain employee’s level of understanding of health and safety policies of the organisation.

ii)           To understand the commitment of management towards the health and safety of employees.

iii)         To examine the effect of occupational health and safety practices and organizational commitment at Chevron Nigeria Limited.

iv)         To investigate if the absence of occupational health and safety policy affects the commitment of employees at Chevron Nigeria Limited.

1.4   Research Questions

The following are the research questions for this study:

i)             What is the employee’s level of understanding of health and safety policies of the organization?

ii)           What is the commitment of management towards the health and safety of employees?

iii)         What is the effect of occupational health and safety practices and organizational commitment at Chevron Nigeria Limited?

iv)         Does the absence of occupational health and safety policy affect the commitment of employees at Chevron Nigeria Limited?

1.5   Research Hypotheses

The following are the research hypotheses for this study:

i)             There is a significant relationship between employee’s level of understanding and health and safety policies of the organization

ii)           There is a significant relationship between occupational health and safety practices and organizational commitment at Chevron Nigeria Limited

iii)         There is no significant relationship between the absence of occupational health and safety policy and the commitment of employees at Chevron Nigeria Limited

1.6   Significance of the Study

        The study aims towards enabling organizations to entrench s principles in a way that will reduce the large numbers of serious and fatal accidents and cases of which occur eve year in the construction Industry.

        There are many organizations with many workers in their employ, yet maintaining little or haphazard attention to safety program. They may see such program as a wasteful venture without considering the negative cost implications of such perception. This study revealed that greater percentage of organizational success is based on the maintenance of effective safety management system. Therefore, to enable management reduce hazards, accidents and effect of disasters in the work place, in order to reduce costs associated with unsafe work environment in organizations, recommendations will be made in this study which will help management develop a safe place of work and effective safety policy and ensure its effective implementation within the organization.

        Also, it would enable employers and employees know their rights and responsibility within the workplace in relations to safety management.

        Therefore, the findings of this study will be of significant to policy makers especially government and its agencies in charge of labor administration and productivity in Nigeria. Besides, the study will be relevant to organization development and change agent who may conduct similar studies in the future on safety management and on how it should be effectively managed.

1.7   Scope of the Study

        The coverage of this study will not extend beyond the occupational safety management as related to employees’ job commitment. The study is however limited to Chevron Nigeria Limited along Epe-express way, Lekki, Lagos, as a case study.

1.8   Definition of Terms

        Below are the meanings of the terms that were used in the process of carrying out this study

Industrial Accident: An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, causing damages or injuries or death at work place.

Employees’ Job Commitment: It is a force that binds an employee to a course of action at work. It entails the level at which employees are committed to their jobs in an organization.

Job Hazard: It is anything that causes harm electricity, nail etc.

Occupational Safety Management: This is an area concerned with protecting the safety of people engaged at work effectively.

Risk: It is the chance, large or small, of harm actually being done by the hazard.

Safety: It is the state of being certain that adverse effect will not be caused by some agent under defined conditions.

Safety Training: It can be described as a short-term systematic process through which an employee acquires technical skills and consciousness of being safe at workplace.