Senator seeks thorough review of safety measures in construction sites

January 29, 2011 2:16 am 

MANILA, Jan. 28 – Senator Jinggoy Estrada said on Friday the country’s Occupational Safety Standards, especially in construction sites, as well as the system of inspection and enforcement thereof definitely need reviewing and improvement in light of the latest incident that killed 10 construction workers in Makati City.

“I am calling on the authorities, especially the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), to conduct a complete investigation of the incident and determine the possible liabilities of the contractor and the owners of Eton Residences in providing safety for their workforce,” Estrada said.

Estrada, chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development, made this comment following the collapse of scaffolding of the ongoing construction of the Eton Residences located at Paseo de Roxas and Gallardo Street in Makati City on Thursday.

The workers, installing glass panels on the condominium, were on board a gondola which fell from the 28th floor of the condominium. Initial reports said the gondola could hold only two to three passengers and the overloading caused either its cables to snap or its motor to malfunction.

“But more than this particular investigation, we need a comprehensive review, restudy and improvement of the system itself on the implementation of safety measures in work places, especially in construction sites, considered as a hazardous sector to work in because workers here are always faced with great risks to their life and limbs,” he said.

The senator noted the reports that there were 26 work-related deaths and 116 injuries in 2009 in the construction sector.

He said he is likewise considering the calls by different labor groups for a review of the DOLE’s Order No. 57-04 which allows companies with more than 200 workers to conduct “self assessment” of their own compliance to working standards.

“My committee will closely work with the DOLE in conducting a thorough review of safety standards in the workplaces and come up with corrective measures,” Estrada said. (PNA) scs/jfm

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