Workers ask for safer job sites

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


AS THEY observe World Health Day for Workers, labor stakeholders urged the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to strictly enforce occupational health and safety guidelines in the construction industry.

Crispin Soriano Jr., president of the Construction Workers Solidarity (CWS), said that last year alone, there were about 13,000 accidents in the construction sector and some resulted in deaths.

He said most of the accidents involved workers falling from construction sites, electrocution and suffocation.

He said that the accidents can be prevented if companies strictly follow the guidelines under Dole Order 13, series of 1998, which ensures the occupational safety and health of workers in the construction industry.

Accidents

Soriano said there are about 2.23 million construction workers in the country and about 30 percent of them are Central Visayas.

“Construction-related accidents have always figured as one of the reasons for disabilities and fatalities,” said Art Barrit, spokesperson of the Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).

Barrit, citing the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) work alert data, said the construction industry ranked highest in number of accidents, followed by the manufacturing and services sectors.

This was confirmed by Soriano.

Aside from ensuring safe work conditions, CWS is also lobbying against contractualization, low wages and lack of social protection, among others.

Order

Engineer Vicente Abordo of Dole 7 said Section 19 of Dole Order 13 provides sanction against companies that do not observe safety measures at job sites.

He said the Dole, through the Occupational Safety and Health Center, is trying to reduce, if not eliminate, accidents at work places.

He said the Occupational Safety and Health Network—a non-government organization that promotes occupational safety, health and environment in Philippine work areas—also help achieve the goal.

Abordo was a guest at the 60th anniversary of the ALU-TUCP yesterday.

ALU-TUCP also celebrated World Health Day for Workers with Dole 7, OSHNet and the Cebu Contractors Association (CCA).

Levi Noel Las Marias, vice chair for the Industrial Tripartite Council for the construction industry, said that growth in the construction industry means an increase in the number of construction workers.

“We always urge workers and employees to exercise safety measures at work,” Las Marias
said.

Dr. Lorifel Go, vice president of OHSNet-Central Visayas, said that they are intensifying trainings on safety and health measures at work to achieve zero accident in work areas.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 29, 2014.

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