DOLE: Firms disregarding work safety, health standards slapped with P950K fine
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor (DOLE) has slapped a total of P950,000 fines to companies that failed to comply with work safety and health standards in the first five months of 2019, Senator Joel Villanueva revealed Tuesday.
Citing data from the Bureau of Working Conditions, Villanueva said around 22,274 establishments were inspected by Dole from January to May in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) law.
“The penalties should serve as a warning to companies that take the health and safety of their employees for granted. A workplace must always be a safe environment for its workers regardless of the industry,” Villanueva said in a statement.
The measure, whose passage was spearheaded by Villanueva, urges for the presence of safety officers in workplaces to monitor the management of occupational safety and health program.
“Mahalaga po ang trabaho na ginagampanan ng ating safety officers upang siguruhin na ligtas ang ating mga opisina at lugar-paggawa,” the senator said.
Safety officers could also issue work stoppage orders should there be an imminent danger to the health or safety of employees, he explained.
However, Villanueva assured that employees would still receive their pay even if the companies they work at get a work stoppage order.
The order would only be lifted once Dole got assurance from firms that safety and health issues were resolved.
The measure covers all workplaces across industries, except the public sector, Villanueva said.
He also pointed out the need to heighten the awareness of workers on occupational safety and health, hoping that the culture of safety gets “integrated” in their daily lives.
“In some companies, safety officers have unfairly been tagged as the bad cop, but it’s really their job to look over the shoulder of employees,” the senator pointed out.
“We have to understand that in terms of occupational safety and health, statistics on incidents involve the lives of people,” he added. /ac
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