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Labor NGO demands justice, better health &safety for construction workers

“It is unfortunate that another accident involving a faulty scaffolding happened only three months after the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) published Department Order No. 128-13 amending the rule on scaffolding in the 1989 Occupational Safety and Health Standards.”

MANILA – The health and safety, non-government Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development (IOHSAD) expressed sympathy with the family of Jimmy Remonde, the construction worker who died when the scaffolding in a construction site in Parañaque City collapsed yesterday morning.

The incident adds to what the IOHSAD describes as a long list of accidents involving unsafe scaffoldings in construction sites in the country. Early this year, five construction workers died and 12 were injured when the scaffolding they were using while fixing the smokestack of SPC Malaya Power Plant in Rizal fell down.

IOHSAD Executive Director Noel Colina said, “It is unfortunate that another accident involving a faulty scaffolding happened only three months after the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) published Department Order No. 128-13 amending the rule on scaffolding in the 1989 Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS).”

OSHS Rule 1414 details the safe procedures and standards required in using scaffoldings in construction sites. According to Rule 1441 (1), every scaffold shall be of good construction of sound materials and strength for the purpose for which it is intended.

Training and competency in the part of scaffold erectors were added in the OSHS standards but apparently, as shown by the accident yesterday, it still proved insufficient in ensuring safety in construction sites, the IOHSAD said in a statement.

“Workers in construction sites face multiple hazards in their workplaces everyday. While some believe that injuries and even death are part of the job, this should not be the case. The government must ensure that the workers’ life and right to a safe workplace and other labor rights are protected at all times,” Colina said.

The group demand justice, not only for Remondo’s death but for all the construction workers involved in work-related accidents such as in Eton, Keppel and SPC Malaya Power Plant.

As of July this year, more than 2.4 million Filipinos are working in construction, comprising almost half of the labor department’s reported as employed industry workers.

“Justice has been elusive to the victims and families of these work-related tragedies,” Colina said. They urged the DoLE and related government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OHSC) to provide more safety inspectors especially in construction sites, to ensure that contractors and employers strictly follow labor, health and safety standards.

Article by Marya Salamat (Bulatlat.com)

Source: http://bulatlat.com/main/2013/10/04/labor-ngo-demands-justice-better-health-safety-for-construction-workers/

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