Baldoz instructs DOLE-NCR to make Universal Robina comply with workers’ health and safety, assists family of the injured worker with livelihood assistance; subcontractors fully compliance of DO 18-A; ECC facilitates injured worker’s benefit through Quick Reaction Program
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE-National Capital Region is moving fast in its accident investigation involving a worker at the Universal Robina Corporation, a Pasig-based company, to ensure that the accident will not happen again and that the company satisfactorily complies with all the government’s safety and health regulations.
Baldoz also said she is satisfied with the fast response of the DOLE-NCR and the Employees Compensation Commission to the accident which resulted to the amputation of the right arm of a 21-year old worker, Raymond Santos.
Apprised of the status of the on-going investigation, Baldoz said the DOLE-NCR has asked URC to submit results of its accident report using a DOLE-prescribed form; copy of a duly-approved safety and health program; credentials and proof of training of the URC safety officer, Dante B. Arellano; required memorandum of agreement with the nearest hospital for emergency cases; complete list of their sub-contractors; and written comment on the assistance the company will extend to the injured worker.
“To be fair, I am pleased that the URC has committed to comply with these required submissions, but nonetheless, the DOLE-NCR must see to it that all the safety and health measures at the workplace must be in place before it acts on the Work Stoppage Order it issued against the company after the accident,” said Baldoz.
In his update report, DOLE-NCR Director Alex Avila informed the Secretary that the regional office’s labor law compliance officers leading the investigation will validate the list of safety measures the URC had said it had installed, including the implementation of a “No Opening of Conveyor Without Authorization” policy; buddy system, provision of a sensor that automatically de-activate the conveyor when its cover is open at both ends; and the provision of steel grills welded to the conveyor casing that serve as hand barrier for pouring in material.
“We had already conducted two mandatory conferences, and we will conclude it this week,” Avila said.
Initial results of the investigation show that worker Santos poured soya meal into the conveyor machine which is under repair and was left open, when it was accidentally activated and dragged him, crushing his arm.
Meanwhile, the ECC, an attached agency of the DOLE reported to Secretary Baldoz that its Quick Response Team has already visited the hospital where Santos is confined.
“We have conveyed our sympathies to Santos’ family. Our physician, Dr. Ma. Sarah Concepcion counseled the Santoses, including the mother, Ada, who was still in great distress due to the accident,” said ECC Executive Director Stella Banawis.
She explained that the ECC is assisting the injured Santos and his family accomplish the filing for the claim of work-related benefits and assured them of DOLE’s support through the ECC’s Kagabay Program until Santos fully recovers.
Baldoz, also ordered ECC Executive Director Stella Banawis to include the provision of prosthesis so Mr. Santos claim be full round use, informed that the accident has been an extra burden for the Santos family because Raymond’s father is also undergoing cancer treatment, directed Avila to ensure that the injured worker is given full and complete medical assistance and support for his rehabilitation.
“Require Raymond’s employer, as well as the URC, to put their commitment of support in writing,” instructed Baldoz.
At the time of the accident, Santos was a contractual employee of Ako, Ikaw May-ari ng Kooperatiba, or AIMKO, a URC sub-contractor. Records show that he is not a member of the Social Security System and his employer had not enrolled him in its health maintenance organization (HMO) program coverage.
AIMKO officials committed to comply with the requirements for compensation to undertake subcontracting under DO 18-A and pay all the required contributions to its HMO so that Raymond can benefit from the program. It also paid an initial P15.383.75 in medical assistance to Raymond.