In view of imminent and grave danger, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday issued a work stoppage order for all establishments engaged in the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnics and firecrackers.
“In view of the recent accidents and with the projected increase in production during the holidays, the DOLE is inclined to declare the existence of grave and imminent danger to the health and safety of workers in workplaces involved in the production of pyrotechnics and firecrackers,” said Bello.
He added that the issuance of the Work Stoppage Order is pursuant to Rule 1012.02 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in relation to Article 168 of the Labor Code, as amended and renumbered, and Rule VIII of Department Order No. 131-B, Series of 2016.
On 12 October 2016, two persons died and 24 others were injured when an explosion occurred in a group of fireworks shops in Barangay Biñang 1st, Bocaue, Bulacan.
On 23 November 2016, three persons died and six others were wounded in an explosion at AA Firecracker Manufacturing in Sitio Bangka-Bangkaan, Barangay Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
Bello also instructed all DOLE Regional Directors, with technical assistance from the Occupational Safety and Health Center and Bureau of Working Conditions, to assess compliance with occupational safety and health standards and ge¬ne¬ral labor standards in establishments in coordination with the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and local government units.
The Labor and Employment Secretary added that he may lift the order on compliant establishments based on recommendation of the DOLE Regional Director, who shall submit weekly reports of assessment activities.
Bello said that the DOLE Regional Offices, in coordination with the Bureau of Local Employment and the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, shall extend assistance to workers who might be affected by this Order.