Press Release
January 28, 2011

Jinggoy seeks thorough review of safety measures
in construction sites, other work places

The country's Occupational Safety Standards especially in construction sites as well as the system of inspection and enforcement thereof definitely need reviewing and improvement, in light of the latest incident where at least 10 workers died after their scaffolding fell from the 28th floor of the Eton Residences located at Paseo de Roxas and Gallardo Street in Makati City.

This was pressed by Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, concurrent chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment (COCLE).

The workers, installing glass panels on the condominium, were on board a gondola which fell from the 28th floor of the condominium. Initial reports said the gondola could hold only two to three passengers and the overloading caused either its cables to snap or its motor to malfunction.

"I am calling on the authorities, especially the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), to conduct a complete investigation of the incident and determine the possible liabilities of the contractor and the owners of ETON in providing safety for their workforce," Estrada said.

"But more than this particular investigation, we need a comprehensive review, re-study and improvement of the system itself on the implementation of safety measures in work places, especially in construction sites, considered as a hazardous sector to work in because workers here are always faced with great risks to their life and limbs," he added.

The senator noted the reports that there were 26 work-related deaths and 116 injuries in 2009 in the construction sector.

He said he is likewise considering the calls by different labor groups for a review of the DoLE's Order No. 57-04 which allows companies with more than 200 workers to conduct "self assessment" of their own compliance to working standards.

"My committee will closely work with the DoLE in conducting a thorough review of safety standards in the workplaces and come up with corrective measures," Estrada said.

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