Senator Joel Villanueva urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to focus its work in ensuring that businesses comply with occupational safety and health standards following the collapse of a metal crane, which was being set up in the ongoing construction of STI building in Pasay City.
The incident killed an unidentified man on the spot while Jonathan Diserdo, crane operator of Monocrete Construction, was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead. Six individuals were also injured composed of security guards, construction workers, and a Chinese national.
“My deepest sympathies and condolences to the families, friends, and relatives of the workers affected by this tragedy. We constantly pray for your strength and resilience in this difficult time,” Villanueva said.
The legislator stressed that the lack of stricter regulations on occupational safety and health standards is a major factor which leads to several accidents in the workplace.
The lack of stricter regulations on occupational safety and health standards is a major factor which leads to several accidents in the workplace.
“Incidents such as this recent collapse of a crane in Pasay City could have been avoided if we only have a stricter law that would penalize companies, which are non-compliant of our country’s regulations on occupational safety and health standards,” the lawmaker said.
The senator from Bulacan lamented the continuing deaths of workers due to workplace accidents. He further called for the prioritization of Senate Bill No. 1317 or An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards.
“For the longest time, violation of occupational health and safety standards has no fines or penalties. The DOLE only issues a work stoppage order if there is an imminent danger or would result to disabling injury,” said Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee and author of the bill.
“We cannot just tolerate that kind of regulation at the expense of our workers,” he said.
Under Senate Bill No. 1317, an amount of P100,000.00 will serve as an administrative penalty for the erring employer for every day of non-correction of workplace safety violation.
The bill was approved on third and final reading last Feb. 19, 2018 and has been sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
“Neglecting to comply with occupational safety and health standards does not only pose risk to our workers but may also inconvenience other people as it could even stop business operations in the affected workplace,” Villanueva said.
“What we want to address is prevention. We hope that our OSHS bill would be enacted into law immediately to finally give teeth to our 41-year Labor Code and would thus force establishments to comply to occupational safety and health standards,” he concluded.