THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 has ordered the construction of a poultry farm in Pinamungajan stopped while investigation is going on a steel bar matting that collapsed, resulting in the deaths of three persons last April 4.

Dole 7 Director Cyril Ticao said they found out that the project has standard operating procedure on excavation works.

Owner Neil Sajuela is set to appear this week before Dole 7. Last April 4, two welders and the project’s contractor died after the steel bar matting collapsed while welding works were being done for the foundation of the poultry farm’s column bars.

“In the Occupational Safety and Health Investigation that we conducted... workers were allowed to work inside the excavated area without appropriate excavation protection such those as for proper shoring and timbering,” Ticao said.

He also said that the Dole-approved construction safety and health program was not also presented during the investigation.

Also non-existing were a Dole-trained safety officer, safety and health committee, administrative reports on safety and health, construction heavy equipment operator’s certificate, and Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board license.

Ticao said his office will also look into the owner’s violations under the General Labor Standards.

During the mandatory conference, Dole 7 will ask Sajuela for the proof of corrections for underpayment of minimum wage, non-payment of regular holiday and premium pay on a special holiday, coverage and remittances on social welfare benefits, employment records like payroll and pay slips, and contract agreement between the owner and the contractor. (EOB)