In-house OSH assessment speeds up  assessment process and  labor laws compliance of establishments—Baldoz

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday instructed DOLE Regional Directors and program managers to utilize  the in-house OSH assessment  modality to expedite the assessment  process and the  provision of assistance to establishments  towards  compliance with labor laws and occupational safety and health standards.

“To expedite the assessment process, Regional Offices shall adopt  in-house OSH Assessment as an assessment strategy to ensure that all their target  establishments for the year have been visited and extended assistance  to ensure compliance with all labor laws,”  said Baldoz

The in-house assessment is one of five assessment modalities prescribed under Administrative Order No. 404, Series of 2014, which Baldoz signed on 18 August to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of implementation of the DOLE’s new Labor Laws Compliance System.

The in-house OSH assessment can be used in combination, separately, or simultaneously, with the other four modalities to ensure that the DOLE meets its   target  for the year.

The other four compliance assessment modalities are (1) Zonal assessment; (2) assessment by industry; (3) Ecozone-wide assessment; and (4) assessment of establishments with Labor-Management Councils (LMCs) and convergence programs.

The in-house OSH assessment involves tapping accredited OSH practitioners, or OSH consultants/consulting organizations, together with safety committees of establishments,  in  monitoring OSHS compliance in workplaces.

“This approach expedites the assessment process,” added Baldoz, adding that “a multi-pronged approach may be resorted to by DOLE Regional offices by consulting the different safety organizations on the assessment.”

Administrative Order 404 outlines the process for the in-house OSH assessment.  OSH practitioners or OSH consultants/consulting organizations should be guided by the following:

(a) A copy of the OSH Assessment Checklist shall be sent in advance by the regional offices to their accredited OSH practitioners, who shall be tasked to assess OSH compliance of their employers/companies pursuant to DOLE Memorandum dated 14 August 2014.

(b) The receiving OSH practitioners shall officially send back to the Regional Offices, within two weeks from receipt, the accomplished OSH Checklist for verification.

(c) A table review of the assessment done by the OSH practitioner shall be done by the regional offices’ Labor Laws Compliance Officer, and the establishment with finding of non-compliance shall be prioritized for joint assessment.

(d) Validation of the OSH assessment shall be done by the LLCO with the Safety Committee/Officer at the plant level during the tripartite Joint Assessment on general labor standards and other compliances.

(e) In case of compliance, the LLCO shall recommend for the issuance of the Certificate of Compliance (CoC) with OSHS and/or GLS. If the establishment is found to be non-compliant, the LLCO shall recommend possible technical assistance or corrective actions to help the establishment comply with labor laws subject to the correction and remediation periods mentioned in Department Order 131-13, or the Manual on Labor Laws Compliance System and Procedures for Uniform Implementation.

A.O. 404 specifies the criteria in determining the regional offices’ assessment priorities which regional directors and program managers may consider from the list of establishments provided by the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC).

These establishments are considered to be:

(1)  engaged in hazardous work;
(2)  employing child employees;
(3)  engaged in contracting and subcontracting arrangements (Principals and contractors);
(4)  Philippine-registered ships or vessels engaged in domestic shipping;
(5)  employing 10 or more employees; and
(6)  other priority establishments covered by issuances.

The latter refers to establishments, such as:
(a)  those registered under the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB);
(b)  bus companies;
(c)  enterprises with valid or expired collective bargaining agreements (CBA);
(d)  signatories to the Integrity Pledge of the Makati Business Club (MBC);
(e)  enterprises in industries covered by Voluntary Codes of Good Practices (VCGP);
(f)  enterprises enrolled under the Kapatiran Program;
(g)  enterprises which are the subject of complaints of workers for labor standards violations and those reported by media and other credible sources for serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS);
(h)  enterprises with “imminent danger” situations based on reports and those which are generally known as maintaining hazardous and oppressive working conditions (sweatshops);
(i)  enterprises involved in work-related fatalities/catastrophes; and
(j)  enterprises where accidents occurred resulting in serious injuries as reported in the media.

END/letmaring

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