THE non-wearing of high heels of workers who are required to stand for a long periods of time wearing the said footwear took effect on Sunday, September 24.
Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has issued Department Order (DO) No. 178, Series of 2017, which primarily addresses the health and safety concerns of workers who are required to stand for long periods and those required to wear high-heeled shoes at work.
The order was published on September 9, 2017 on a newspaper of general circulation.
This is in line with the promotion of Occupational Health and Safety of all private employees.
Occupational health and safety issues covering employers or establishments where workers are required to wear high-heeled shoes and/or stand at work for long periods or frequent walking are observed to result to cause strain on the lower limbs, aching muscles, hazardous pressure on hip, knee and ankle joints and sore feet.
This Department Order “shall apply to all workers who by the nature of their work, have to stand for long periods at work, or are frequently required to walk, such as retail and/or service employees, assembly line workers, teachers, and security personnel.”
Further, the order also states occupational safety and health measures to be applied by employers or establishment for workers who have to stand which include:
1. Implement rest periods to break or cut the time spent on standing or walking.
2. Install appropriate flooring or mats that will mitigate the impact of frequent walking and prevent fatigue, such as wood or rubber floorings.
3. Provide table or work surfaces with adjustable heights to allow workers to alternately sit and stand while performing their tasks.
4. Provide readily accessible seats to be used during rest periods or even during working hours, provided the employees can perform their duties in this position without detriment to efficiency. These can be small foldable stools which can easily be stowed away so as not to hamper the work area.
5. Implement the use of footwear which is practical and comfortable. These should not pinch the feet or toes; are well fitted and non-slipping; provide adequate cushion and support to the arch of the feet; either flat or with low heels that must be wide-based or wedge type and no higher than one inch.
Beginning the inspections on Monday, September 25, Dole-Davao Region Office of the Regional Director Officer-in-charge Henry Montilla reported that 44 establishments have already been assessed in the region for DO 178.
Assessments conducted by Dole-Davao Region’s Labor Laws Compliance Officer was based on the following compliance indicators: rest periods, appropriate flooring or mats, tables or work surfaces with adjustable heights, readily accessible seats, and if their footwear is practical and comfortable/ heels not higher than one inch and wide-based.
“We are challenging our establishments to see to it that this DO 178 approved and signed by our Secretary Silvestre Bello III should be enforced because this is the clamor of our female workers especially our sales ladies who wear high-heeled shoes,” Montilla said adding that the Department’s focus is on safeguarding and ensuring that workers are comfortable in their workplaces. (Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/PR)