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2 – Duties and rights

1. Summary

▪ The OSH Law imposes duties on employers, contractors or subcontractors, workers, collaborators in relation to keeping a safe workspace.

▪ Workers have rights to know, to refuse unsafe work, to report accidents, and to personal protective equipment.

▪ Safety signages and devices, safety in the use of equipment, as well as occupational safety and health information, are required.

2. Duties

a. Duties of employers workers and other persons

Every employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, and any person who manages, controls or supervises the work being undertaken shall:

1) Furnish the workers a place of employment free from hazardous conditions that are causing or are likely to cause death, illness or physical harm to the workers;

2) Give complete job safety instructions or orientation to all the workers especially to those entering the job for the first time, including those relating to familiarization with their work environment;

3) Inform the workers of the hazards associated with their work health risks involved ot to which they are exposed to, preventive measures to eliminate or minimize the risks, and steps to be taken in cases of emergency;

4) Use only approved devices and equipment for the workplace;

5) Comply with OSH standards including training medical examination and where necessary, provision of protective and safety devices such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and machine guards;

6) Allow workers and their safety and health representatives to participate actively in the process of organizing, planning, implementing and evaluating the safety and health program to improve safety and health in the workplace; and

7) Provide, where necessary, for measures to deal with emergencies and accidents including first-aid arrangements. (Section 4[a], R.A. 11058)

b. Duties of workers

1) Every worker shall participate in ensuring compliance with OSH standards in the workplace. (Section 4[b], R.A. 11058)

2) The worker shall make proper use of all safeguards and safety devices furnished for the worker’s protection and that of others, and shall observe instructions to prevent accidents or imminent danger situation in workplace. (Ibid.)

3) The worker shall observe the prescribed steps to be taken in cases of emergency. (Ibid.)

4) The worker shall report to the supervisor any work hazard that may be discovered in the workplace. (Paragraph 2, Section 4[b], Ibid.)

c. Duty of any person

It shall be the duty of any person, including the builder or contractor who visits, builds, renovates or installs devices or conducts business in any establishment or workplace, to comply with the provisions of this Act and all other regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. (Section 4[c], Ibid.)

d. Duty of collaborators

Whenever two (2) or more undertakings are engaged in activities simultaneously in one (1) workplace, it shall be the duty of all engaged to collaborate in the application of OSH standards and regulations. (Section 4[d], Ibid.)

3. Workers’ rights

a. Workers’ right to know

The right to safety and health at work shall be guaranteed. All workers shall be appropriately informed by the employer about all types of hazards in the workplace, provided access to training and education on chemical safety, electrical safety mechanical safety, and ergonomical safety. (Section 5, Ibid.)

b. Workers’ right to refuse unsafe work

The worker has the right of refusal to work without threat or reprisal from the employer if, as determined by the DOLE, an imminent danger situation exists in the workplace that may result in illness, injury or death, and corrective actions to eliminate the danger have not been undertaken by the employer. (Section 6, Ibid.)

c. Workers’ right to report accidents

Workers and their representatives shall have the right to report accidents, dangerous occurrences, and hazards to the employer, to the DOLE and other concerned government agencies exercising jurisdiction as the competent authority in the specific industry or economic activity. (Section 7, Ibid.)

d. Workers’ right to personal protective equipment (PPE)

Every employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, shall provide his workers, free of charge, protective equipment for their eyes, face, hands and feet, and free, and lifeline, safety belt or harness, gas or dust respirators or masks, protective shields whenever necessary by reason of the hazardous work process or environment, chemical, radiological, mechanical and other irritants or hazards capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact. The cost of the PPE shall be part of the safety and health program which is a separate pay item pursuant to Section 20 of this Act. (Section 8, Ibid.)

All PPE shall be of the appropriate type as tested and approved by the DOLE based on its standards. The usage of PPE in all establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken shall be based on the evaluation and recommendation of the safety officer. (Paragraph 2, Section 8, Ibid.)

4. Safety signage and devices

All establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken shall have safety signage and devices to warn the workers and the public of the hazards in the workplace. Safety signage and devices shall be posted in prominent positions and strategic locations in a language understandable to all, and in accordance with the standard set by the DOLE. (Section 9, Ibid.)

5. Safety in the use of equipment

In relation to the use of equipment, the employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, must comply with the DOLE requirements in the different phases of the company or project operation including the transport to and from the establishment, project, site or place where work is being undertaken. (Section 10, Ibid.)

6. Occupational safety and health information

Workers in all establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken shall be provided adequate and suitable information by the employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, on safety and health hazards, and the appropriate measures, including the probable location of workers, for the prevention, control and protection against those hazards. (Section 11, Ibid.)


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

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