DOLE Region 11 Regional Director Joffrey Suyao has reported to Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz that the regional office is now implementing the latter’s directive of strengthening partnership of the DOLE regional offices and the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) in realizing ‘safety first’ in the construction industry through skills and knowledge building.

“With workers’ protection and safety as a paramount priority, we have conducted an extensive basic occupational safety and health (BOSH) training for 46 safety officers in our effort to educate and capacitate more workers, trainers, and inspectors towards ‘accident-free’ workplaces in Region 11,” said Director Suyao in his report.

This, after Secretary Baldoz emphasized that a joint effort of the OSHC and the DOLE offices across the regions is deemed significant to achieve the goal of empowering more industry key players to ensure a holistic implementation of safety and health practices and help curb the recurrence of work-related hazards, illnesses, and accidents in all industries in the country.

The 46 site safety practitioners were oriented on general labor and occupational safety and health standards to ensure safer and better workplace conditions in the construction industry in the region.

The participants in the week-long training came from various companies in the Davao region, which included Kalayaan Engineering Co. Inc.; A.G.A Construction Company; Dwightsteel Building System Inc.; New Golden City Builders and Development Corporation; and AGA Construction.

Representatives from the City Engineer’s Office, Office of the Building Official, and City Government of Davao also joined the BOSH training, which focused on such topics as OSH standards and regulations in the construction industry; safety and health requirements set forth in Department Order No. 13; mandatory implementation of a Construction Safety and Health Program (CSHP) in every construction project; presence of safety and health personnel/committee; implementation of a safety plan; and other safety rules under the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

The participants also benefited from the discussions of resource speakers and safety practitioners from the OSHNET XI, notably Engineers Ruel Acasio of Davao Light and Power Co; Jason Patawaran of Fast Cargo Logistics Corporation; Kishler Pascual of San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp; and Claro Landeta of PLDT Davao. These resource persons shared their best practices in handling hazards towards effective safety in workplaces

“We are committed to equip both trainers and workers with adequate awareness and basic knowledge on occupational safety and health practices towards a holistic and extensive implementation of prescribed corrective safety measures to ensure workers’ protection in all workplaces in Davao,” said Director Suyao in describing the training.

“We see the need to start this year with workers’ safety as a priority thrust to protect more Dabawenyo workers,” he added.

Baldoz said the DOLE, through the OSHC and its network of OSHNET partners will deliver to the grassroots its advocacy services on workers’ safety and health not only to increase productivity, but also to safeguard workers rights and safety through adequate training and education.

Providing adequate and workforce-focused occupational safety and health is a key strategy under the Labor and Employment Plan 2011-2016 which is anchored on the President’s pronouncement on labor and employment to enhance social protection programs for workers.