Construction violated labor laws, stopped

A warehouse construction in Mandaue was stopped due to the allegedly negligent behavior of management toward safety standards per Department of Labor and Employment Region 7 (DOLE-7).

While working in an area near a transmission line, the worker—a mason who does finishing work and plastering—accidentally suffered electric shocks when his kaliz (metal frame) hit the high tension wire, which was reported to have caused a disabling injury.

Following the complaint about it, which was received by DOLE-7, the construction site was immediately subjected to an Occupational Safety and Health Investigation (OSHI) by one labor law compliance officer (LLCO).

During the OSHI, the LLCO reported that the management of the construction site failed to present evidences of major Dole requirements and were also not able to present safety officers and first aiders during the investigation.

Workers were reportedly not provided with the required personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety shoes and hard hats.

The DOLE-7 said the management failed to put up electrical insulation at the main line near the project.

The LLCO, Engr. Kenneth James Burbos, reported that there were also violations of the General Labor Standards (GLS) apart from those committed against the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS). There were no payroll or payslip records with the workers’ signatures and proof of social protection benefits remittances.

Workers were said to have been underpaid, did not get paid for overtime and regular holidays, and were not covered for SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-ibig.

With this, the DOLE-7 issued a work stoppage order (WSO) against the owner and general contractor of the warehouse.

Operations shall be halted until such time the management addresses the unsafe practices that expose their workers to imminent danger.

“We have to get the management’s commitment in putting up measures in order to ensure that the safety and health of the workers are given due attention and consideration,” stated DOLE-7 Regional Director Elias Cayanong.

Assistant Regional Director Cyril Ticao announced that DOLE-7 already called for a mandatory conference with the project owner, the general contractor Khi Tzu Construction, and the affected worker or his representative. (TLN)