Baldoz wants all work-related accident reports in 24 hours

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday served notice to all DOLE regional directors that she will hold them responsible and accountable for all work-related accidents in their regions if she does not receive a report on these accidents within 24 hours.

“I want all regional directors to submit a report on any and all work-related accidents within their jurisdiction within 24 hours after the occurrence of such accidents. Their reports should include information on whether the establishment involved has been covered by an assessment visit of our labor law compliance officer or has been issued a compliance certificate,” said Baldoz.

She issued the order following a report by DOLE-NCR Alex Avila that he had issued a work stoppage order against Monolith Construction Development Corporation after one of its workers, Roger Bombita, a mason, fell from the 39th floor to the 28th floor of a building that Monolith was constructing at the Bonifacio Global City.

“More than the issuance of work stoppage orders, all regional directors are under instruction to immediately make sure all construction companies in their respective jurisdiction are compliant with all the provisions of our labor laws and OSH regulations. Intensify and strengthen your coordination with each other,” she added, specifically mentioning the Bureau of Working Condition, Occupational Safety and Health Center, and other relevant government agencies, like the Philippine Construction Accreditation Board.
Bombita fell when his body was hit by an E-beam falling from the 52nd floor. The E-beam fell because it was hit by a crane-loaded bucket full of concrete. The mason, who was found to have no full-body harness, died en route to a hospital.

Record of the accident investigation result showed that while Monolith Construction has extended financial assistance to the victim, it has not fully paid the worker’s salary under Wage Order No. 18. On occupational safety and health, the DOLE-NCR also found the need for the company to be re-oriented on construction safety and health for masonry, scaffolding, and heavy equipment operation; and for its operators and riggers to be skill certificated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

“The company also need to show test certificates for its heavy equipment, such as tower crane, passenger and material elevators. We will not lift the order without these compliances,” said Avila.

DOLE accident investigators also said Monolith Construction lacked operational planning and training and was using unsafe construction methods, which were all contributory to the fatal accident.

“Construction is a high-risk industry and to be a construction worker is to be exposed to a high-risk job. This is why all DOLE regional offices, I say again, should see to it that all construction companies–whether principals or contractors and sub-contractors–must fully comply with general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards to prevent and remove all dangers to which our construction workers are exposed,” said Baldoz.

She said DOLE regional directors should see to it that all construction companies and their subcontractors undergo orientation and assessment with the assistance of the DOLE that would lead to their compliance with all applicable labor laws and occupational safety and health standards and to the issuance of a certificate of compliance.

END

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