MANILA, Philippines- About 126 Filipino workers died in their workplace in 2011 or 3 workers per week due to occupational accidents arising from poor working and unsafe working place and labor conditions.
At the launching of the documentary film Piyon (laborer, construction worker) the Manila-based health NGO Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development (www.IOHSAD.org) released a study based on collated reports last year entitled 2011 Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Statistics.
The documentary report depicted the sorry plight of Filipino workers who died in their workplace without getting any significant support from the employer. It also discussed the sorry labor conditions confronted by Filipino workers in their respective workplace.
” A total of 126 deaths caused by occupational accidents were reported in 2011. There were also 126 injured workers who suffered from work-related accidents in the same period. , said Noel Colina, executive director of the health NGO.
The research conducted by the IOHSAD surveyed 3 major national broadsheets and 1 tabloid. Online news sites were also used in the study. Formal and informal sectors were not distinguished in this survey. The IOHSAD study the most number of deaths and injuries among all the sectors occured in the construction sector.
Fifty six or 44% of the total number of deaths reported in 2011 came from the construction sector. The health NGO pointed out the year 2011 was also marked by two tragic events in the construction sector which claimed the lives of sixteen (16) workers.
Last January, 10 construction workers of ETON Residences died on the spot when the gondola they were riding fell from the 42nd floor of the unfinished building. Before the end of 2011, six workers of Keppel Subic Shipyard died when they were pinned by a steel ramp that collapsed.
The incident also left seven workers seriously injured. The IOHSAD study also said miners in the gold mining communities of Compostela Valley, Mindanao are forced to brave the risks and dangers in their work just to survive. Last year, 14 miners died, some of them buried alive, when deadly landslides struck the area of Compostela Valley due to heavy rains.
Based on the data presented by the Social Security System (SSS), they released a total of P817.05M to 47,287 beneficiaries of their Employees’ Compensation (EC) program from January to September 2011.
“From the total number of beneficiaries, it also reported 310 funeral grants in the same period. Only work-related deaths are entitled to funeral grants based on EC rules and regulations,” the IOHSAD further revealed. According to the labor health NGO, the gross violations of basic occupational health and safety standards by the employers put the workers’ lives in extemely dangerous and unsafe situations.
Glaring examples of these violations are the following: ETON Residences did not acquire a safety permit to operate the gondola while Keppel Shipyard did not follow the required number of towers to use to firmly support a 200-ton ramp. Both companies did not have safety plan. –Gerry Albert Corpuz and Handog Malaya Vera-Yamamoto