By Robert Vergara, CNN Philippines, Aug 20, 2018
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 20) — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure aimed at ensuring the implementation of proper health and safety standards in workplaces around the country.
The Republic Act No. 11058 or “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards” (OSHS) also imposes penalties on employers that do not to follow the health and safety standards set by the Philippine labor code and international guidelines.
The new policy requires employers or contractors to:
– furnish a work place free free from hazards
– provide complete job safety instructions or orientation
– inform workers about the hazards associated with their work
– use only approved devices and equipment
– provide workers with free protective equipment like safety belt or harness, gas or dust respirators
The measure gives workers the right to refuse to work if hazardous situations occur in their workplace.
It also directs employers to form an “Occupational Safety and Health Committee” with the task of assuring that the safety and health program is implemented properly. The committee shall be led by a worker and composed of a safety officer, medical personnel and union representatives.
Under the law, the Labor Department can conduct an inspection on a workplace to check whether the standards are applied.
Employers who will fail to comply with the policy will be fined up to ₱100,000 per day until the violation is corrected.
Senator Joel Villanueva, who heads the senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, welcomed the enactment of the measure, saying it is “a resounding victory to all our workers.”
“The OSHS law will prevent workplace injuries or deaths, work-related disorders such as muscoloskeletal disorders and occupational lung diseases, and ensure that workplace health and safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Villanueva said.