Dole issues work stoppage order after mishap at Hanjin

SUBIC, Zambales -- The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Wednesday issued a work stoppage order (WSO) to Binictican I-Tech Corporation, a subcontractor of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation Philippines (HHIC Phils).

The WSO was issued to the company based on results of an investigation on an accident that occurred at their worksite at the Hanjin shipyard premises over the weekend.

Dole Regional Director Zenaida Angara-Campita reported to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that that the incident resulted to the death of one worker while injuring three others.

“On May 12, around 3:30 in the afternoon, four workers fell from a scaffolding after suddenly tipping down. Prior to the incident, at least nine workers were on the said scaffolding shaded under a blue canvass used to protect themselves from the heat of the sun while taking their break,” Campita said.

Injured workers Gerry Bayuta, Johnny Alegre, and Vailian Dela Cruz, who reside in various towns of Zambales, were immediately brought and treated at the nearest town hospital.

The lone fatality, who passed away in the hospital two days later due to internal organ injury, was identified as Ferdinand Leuterio.

Technical Safety Inspectors (TSIs) Engr. Angelito Longos, James Ramos, and Arvin Fabian conducted the investigation at the accident site located at the Dockhead 6 P166-A02C within the Hanjin shipyard.

The TSIs reported to Campita that the concentrated weight of the workers and raw materials and equipment might have cause the tilting of the scaffolding.

During the investigation, the TSIs were informed by the workers’ supervisor that only two workers were authorized to work in the said area.

Aside from this, the investigating team also observed that the bolt of the scaffolding’s bracket was sheared.

Campita said that the overall findings of the investigation revealed that the subcontractor failed to strictly implement and monitor safety procedures.

“Clearly, there was an unsafe working condition because of an overload of workers and their equipment on the scaffolding, causing its sudden collapse. Aside from this, unsafe acts were also observed because of workers’ failure to use safety harnesses, as well as their supervisor’s failure to control them on the adherence to safety practices,” Campita said.

The WSO will remain in effect until Binictican I-Tech fully complies with occupational and health standards.

The subcontractor, who is scheduled for a conference with the Dole, has already extended initial financial assistance to the victims and assured their full cooperation. (PR)


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