Anywhere you turn, constructions are taking place. There is a boom in infrastructure which shows a brisk economy in the city and the region as well. As our region begins to rapidly urbanize, more skilled workers are needed who are not only efficient in their jobs but who are aware of the risks involved as they do their function.

On May 28, a basic occupational safety and health seminar was held by the regional offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Network Inc. (OSHNet) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to emphasize the importance of safety and health in the construction workplace, among others. It reached out to contractors and project managers in construction industries to help them create a safer workplace for workers.

The five-day seminar also discussed the unsafe conditions of construction workplaces, construction site premises, excavation safety, tools and equipment, fall protection, construction machinery, environmental safety, occupational health, demolition safety, routine site safety inspection, job hazards analysis, accident investigation, and the role of safety officers.

OSHNet-XI president Engineer Espiritu Magpatoc said that there is a need to put the limelight on workers because more often than not, project owners and contractors become less involved and concerned with safety; they are more business oriented.

Magpatoc furthers that, generally, no one really looks after the workers; they are not given ample protection for their work because this usually entails additional cost. “They must be given free personal protection against work hazards instead of having this deducted in their salary,” he said.

DOLE-XI senior labor and employment officer Yolibelle Aviñante said that the seminar was organized as per the requirement of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) for the Authorized Managing Officers (AMOs) of contractors to undergo 40 hours of training on safety and construction before they can renew their license, which will be due on June 30.

The need to look into workers’ safety is also highlighted by a report of the DOLE Taskforce Safety Patrol which indicated that during a check on May 2012, only 3 of 15 construction projects in the city implement a construction safety and health program.

By:  Jesse Pizarro Boga |  mindanaotimes