The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has activated a safety awareness orientation program for thousands of skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Korea in step with that major host country’s continuing preference for OFWs to bolster the growth of its burgeoning economy.

Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas said that several OSH orientation activities for Korea-bound OFWs have already been either accomplished or scheduled soon at the DOLE’s Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) in early 2006.

Sto. Tomas said these continuing orientations came on the heels of the earlier OSHC training of 6,600 OFWs under its Appreciation Courses on OSH for OFWs in 2005 as part of the joint RP-Korea bilateral efforts to ensure properly trained and oriented OFWs.

“It is expected that in 2006, OSH and other relevant training for OFWs shall continue as Korean employers affirm their general preference for Filipino workers.”

OSHC Executive Director Dulce P. Gust said that these Courses on OSH is a pre-employment training under the Korean Employment Systems (KEPs) which allows for the employment and protection of foreign workers in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

She said that primarily, the training modules deal with relevant issues on occupational safety, health, and work environment.

The safety module, in particular, covers machine and electrical safety, safety in transporting and handling materials, tools and equipment, construction safety, and emergency preparedness.

Occupational environment sessions, on the other hand, focus on chemical safety, with various health hazards and effects tackled in the health module.

“Alongside with the preventive aspects, the training also provides inputs on responsive measures such as basic first aid concepts and knowledge, as well as OSH laws and policies in Korea,” Gust said.

Gust said that OSH orientations for Korea-bound OFWs, following earlier sessions held on January 3 to 4, 5 to 6, and 9 to 10, have been scheduled further on January 11 to 12, 16 to 17, and 18 to 19, 2006 at the OSHC auditorium in Quezon City.

“The OSHC with a dedicated core of 30 trainors has responded ably to the challenge of providing OSHorientation to the OFWs, which now comprises a significant portion of our work,” she said. However, to respond to the need to orient on safety the thousands of OFWs being accepted for employment in Korea, the 30 instructors are being reinforced by private sector trainors, Gust said.

Meanwhile, she said that continuous nationwide training schedules have also been lined up in the first quarter of 2006 and beyond for the country’s government, labor and management sectors. The tentative schedules are as follows:

January 24 to 26 — Zero Accident Program (ZAP) seminars for Regions 1, 2, 3 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); February 6 — Basic Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) in the Distance Mode (Pilot); Feb. 6-10 — BOSH for Supervisors; Feb. 21 to 23 — ZAP Seminars for Regions 4-A (CALABARZON), 4-B (MIMAROPA), and the National Capital Region; Feb. 27 to March 3 — BOSH for the Public Sector (Cluster 1); March 7 to 10: Assessment Team Training (Drugs); March 13 to 17 — BOSH for the Department of Health, including hospitals (Cluster 3); March 21 to 24 — SOLVE Training; March 27 to 31 — BOSH for Region 10; and April 10 to 14, and 24 to 28, 2006 — BOSH for the Public Sector (Clusters 2 and 4, respectively).

source: Information and Publication Service

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