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3 – Covered workplaces

1. Summary

▪ Covered workplaces are requires to have a safety and health program.

▪ A safety and health committee is required to be organized in covered workplaces.

▪ Workplaces are required to have safety officers.

2. Occupational safety health (OSH) program

Covered workplaces shall have a safety and health program including the following policies, guidelines or information:

1) Statement of commitment to comply with OSH requirements;

2) General safety and health, including a drug-free workplace;

3) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)/tuberculosis/hepatitis prevention control;

4) Company or project details;

5) Composition and duties of the safety and health committee;

6) Occupational Safety and health personnel and facilities;

7) Safety and health promotion, training and education;

8) Conduct of toolbox meetings;

9) Accident/incident/illness investigation, recording and reporting;

10) Provision and use of PPE;

11) Provision of safety signage;

12) Dust control and management, and regulations on activities such as building of temporary structures, and lifting and operation of electrical, mechanical, communications systems and other equipment;

13) Provision of workers’ welfare facilities;

14) Emergency preparedness and response plan;

15) Waste management system; and,

16) Prohibited acts and penalties for violations. (Section 14, R.A. 11058)

The safety and health program shall be prepared and executed by the employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, in consultation with the workers and their representatives and shall be submitted to the DOLE which shall approved disapproved or modify the same according to existing laws rules and regulations, and other issuances. (Paragraph 2, Section 14, Ibid.)

The approved safety and health program shall be communicated and be made readily available to all persons in the workplace. (Paragraph 3, Section 14, Ibid.)

3. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Committee

To ensure that the safety and health program observed and enforced, a safety and health committee shall be organized in covered workplaces composed of the following:

1) Employer or representative as the chairperson ex officio;

2) Safety officer of the company or project as the secretary;

3) Safety officer representing the contractor or subcontractor, as the case may be, as members;

4) Physicians, nurses, certified first-aiders, and dentists as members, ex officio,if applicable; and,

5) Workers representatives who shall come from the union if the workers are organized or elected by the workers through a simple majority vote if they are unorganized, as members. (Section 13, Ibid.)

The committee shall effectively plan develop, oversee and monitor the implementation of the safety and health program. (Paragraph 2, Section 13, Ibid.)

4. Safety officer

To ensure that a safety and health program is duly followed and enforced, covered workplaces shall have safety officers who shall:

1) Oversee the overall management of the safety and health program;

2) Frequently monitor and inspect any health or safety aspect of the operation being undertaken;

3) Assist government inspectors in the conduct of safety and health inspection at any time whenever work is being performed or during the conduct of an accident investigation; and,

4) Issue work stoppage orders when necessary. (Section 14, Ibid.)

The number and qualification of the safety officers shall be proportionate to the total number of workers and equipment, the size of the work area and such other criteria as may be prescribed by the DOLE. (Paragraph 2, Section 14, Ibid.)

In the case of a contractor or subcontractor, a safety officer must be deployed at each specific area of operations to oversee the management of the safety and health programs of its own workforce. (Paragraph 3, Section 14, Ibid.)

5. Occupational health personnel and facilities

Covered workplaces shall have qualified occupational health personnel such as physicians, nurses, certified first-aiders, and dentists duly complemented with the required medical supplies, equipment and facilities. The number of health personnel, equipment and facilities. The number of health personnel, equipment and facilities, and the amount of supplies shall be proportionate to the total number of workers and the risk of hazard involved, the ideal ratio of which shall be prescribed by the DOLE. (Section 15, Ibid.)

6. Safety and health training

1) All safety and health personnel shall undergo the mandatory training on basic occupational safety and health for safety officers as prescribed by DOLE. (Section 16[1], Ibid.)

2) All workers shall undergo the mandatory eight (8) hours safety and health seminar as required by the DOLE which shall include a portion on joint employer-employee orientation. (Section 16[2], Ibid.)

3) All personnel engaged in the operation, erection and dismantling of equipment and scaffolds, structural erections, excavations, blasting operations, demolition, confined spaces hazardous chemicals, welding, and flame cutting shall undergo specialized instruction and training on the said activities. (Section 16[3], Ibid.)

7. Occupational safety and health reports

All employers, contractors or subcontractors, if any, shall submit all safety health reports, and notifications prescribed by the DOLE. (Section 17, Ibid.)

8. Workers’ competency certification

In order to professionalize, upgrade and update the level of competence of workers, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), as the case may be, shall establish national compentency standards and prepare guidelines on competence assessment and certification for critical occupations. In this regard, all critical occupations shall undergo the mandatory competence assessment and certification by the TESDA. (Section 18, Ibid.)

An occupation shall be considered critical when:

1) The performance of a job affects the people’s lives and safety;

2) The job involves the handling of tools, equipment and supplies;

3) The job requires a relatively long period of education and training; and,

4) The performance of the job may compromise the safety, health and environmental concerns within the immediate vicinity of the establishment. (Paragraph 2, Section 18, Ibid.)

9. Workers’ welfare facilities

All establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken shall have the following welfare facilities in order to ensure humane working conditions:

1) Adequate supply of safe drinking water;

2) Adequate sanitary and washing facilities;

3) Suitable living accommodation for workers, as may be applicable; and,

4) Separate sanitary, washing and sleeping facilities for men and women workers as may be applicable. (Section 19, Ibid.)

10. Cost of safety and health program

The total cost of implementing a duly approved safety and health program shall be an integral part of the operations cost. It shall be a separate pay item in construction and in all contracting or subcontracting arrangements. (Section 20, Ibid.)

References

Republic Act No. 11058, a.k.a. OSH Law

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