Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DOLE imposes work stoppage at site of construction accident in Guiguinto

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga-Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Tuesday a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) to two firms in the wake of a wall collapse at their construction site in barangay Ilang-Ilang, Guiguinto, Bulacan which claimed 12 lives.
Responsible companies were Number One Golden Dragon Realty Corporation and Holcim Co Construction Corporation.
“Based on the ocular inspection at the accident site conducted by our team, they found out that it was the right side wall of the on-going warehouse construction that collapsed right above the quarters of the workers. It is approximately 7 meters high and 20 meters wide. It happened during their lunch break,” DOLE Regional Director Ana Dione said.
It took approximately eight hours to retrieve the victims, as the construction firms had no response team to take immediate action during the incident.
“They noted the absence of supervisors such as engineers, safety officers, and the like that is in charge of overseeing the construction as well as representative from the principal at the accident area,” Dione added.
The team likewise observed the incomplete concrete pouring in the foot-tie beam to strengthen the structure; insufficient reinforcement bars and stirrups installed at the column, beam, and wall structure; type of concrete mixture for the columns and beams do not meet as per specification, backfilling was not properly observed and/or conducted to stabilize the movement of the concrete wall structure, and proper evaluation of the soil-bearing capacity was not validated through test.
Moreover, there was no proper engineering and safety supervision to validate and implement the correct engineering standards and work procedures for the nature of work and the volume of rain occurred contributes additional load pressure to the lower portion of the concrete wall structure.
“Both firms shall be held liable for all violations related to the safety and social welfare of the workers and affected civilians resulting to death and injury as amended in the Labor Code of the Philippines and Occupational Safety and Health Standards. We have issued this CDO, which is effective until further notice to both companies because we are serious when it comes to the safety and welfare of our workers. Safety should be practiced at the workplace at all times,” Dione stressed.
“At the time of this painful tragedy, our hearts and thoughts go out to the workers who perished. We will be continuously coordinating with their families and see what kind of interventions we can provide to ease their burden,” Dione added.
In order for the CDO to be lifted, the principal and subcontractor must submit a number of requirements including employer’s accident-illness report, incident report, police report, medical abstract, employment record or contract, corrective work methodology, and proof of salary payment and remittance to Social Security System, Pag-Ibig, and PhilHealth.
Both companies must also attend a conference hearing with DOLE Technical Support and Service Division for Labor Relations and Labor Standards head Ma. Rima Hernandez on January 23 to address the issues and concerns pertaining to the incident. (Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu)

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