Cebu City, Philippines. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) gave an arrastre and stevedoring firm fifteen (15)-day remediation period to correct all deficiencies noted by the Department in an earlier Occupational Safety and Health Investigation conducted.
Management representatives of the Cebu Arrastre and Stevedoring Services Corporation (CASSCOR) located at the DENR Compound V. Sotto Corner Arellano Boulevard, Pier 3, Cebu City and representatives of Lite Shipping Corporation attended the mandatory conference (MC) held yesterday, at the Office of the DOLE.
According to DOLE Tri-City Field Office Head, Director Lilia Estillore, who presided the MC, the stoppage order released by the Office on 3 April 2017 stemmed from the fatal accident involving a worker of Lite Shipping Corporation at Pier 2 Port Area.
Said work stoppage order directed concerned establishments to cease and desist from all their forklift operations at Pier 2.
“From the investigation conducted by our labor laws compliance officer, we learned that an oiler of Lite Shipping Corporation crossed the pathway and was stricken by a passing forklift manned by a forklift operator of CASSCOR,” she said, adding that the accident happened while there was unloading of cargos onboard the ship.
According to DOLE-7 Regional Director Elias A. Cayanong, the Department is saddened by the death of the victim which could have been avoided if the standards of safety and health are properly put in place at the area.
“Safety and health standards are non-negotiable in the workplace and there is a need to abate whatever imminent danger present there. That is why we made sure to send our labor laws compliance officer to the site to conduct thorough investigation,” he said.
The deficiencies noted were the following, namely: no DOLE-accredited safety practitioner; no first aider with certificate from the Philippine Red Cross; no personal protective equipment (PPE); no strobe light installed on top of the forklift to serve as caution for the workers; no flagman or signal or stand-by personnel at the ship who is assigned to signal and ensure safe operation while on-board; no emergency medicine; among others.
Apart from the deficiencies identified under the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS), the DOLE-7 Head added, there are also deficiencies under the General Labor Standards (GLS), which concerned agencies need to rectify as well.
The work stoppage order could only be lifted until such time that imminent danger is abated through the following: proof of installation of lights on all forklifts; proof of designation of a flagman or a stand-by personnel; submission of accident reports by Lite Shipping Corporation; Proof of correction on the causes of accident identified in the accident report; and proof of the provision of the Employees Compensation Commission’s benefits to the victim.
“We take it as a positive response from concerned establishments when they sent all their managers and safety officers to the mandatory conference we called for on 4 April 2017. After submitting to us compliance with the major deficiencies, we issued temporary lifting of the stoppage order,” added Director Cayanong.
So far, the following were submitted to the DOLE Office as proof of correction to noted deficiencies: Ten (10) forklifts now installed with strobe lights; a worker assigned as the flagman at the ship who is assigned to signal and ensure safe operation while on-board; and accident report submitted by Lite Shipping Corporation.
“We want to make it clear to everyone that we are giving them only 15 days from yesterday to correct the rest of noted violations. They need to give us proof that they already have a DOLE-accredited safety practitioner and that 10 more of their forklifts have been installed with strobe lights as well. The Cebu Ports Authority also needs to produce and submit to us a Hazard Identification and Accident Prevention Program in order to prevent recurrence of accidents in the area,” he said further.
Representatives of the CPA, he added, were supposed to attend the conference as well.
The DOLE-7 Head reiterated that the stoppage order will be reinstated if there’s failure to comply with the requirements on said deadline.
For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at email@example.com