Press Release
November 21, 2020

Villanueva wants immediate probe on safety lapses in Skyway accident

Senator Joel Villanueva has asked the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to dispatch a team of labor inspectors to Muntinlupa to look into the safety protocols at the construction site of Skyway where a girder fell and crashed into vehicles along the East Service Road on Saturday morning.

In a statement, Villanueva said he expected labor inspectors to determine any lapses in the workplace safety protocol which could have contributed to the accident. At least four persons were injured, according to a news report.

"Isa po sa peligrosong lugar-paggawa ang mga construction site, kaya po mahigpit ang pagpapatupad ng mga safety measures upang siguraduhin na walang aksidente na mangyayari at bawasan ang mga risk factors dahil ito ay maaaring maging mapaminsala. Ang mga manggagawa po natin ang unang napapahamak tuwing may aksidente sa lugar-paggawa kaya mahigpit po ang pagpapatupad natin ng occupational safety and health standards," Villanueva said in a statement. "Ang agarang imbestigasyon ng ating labor inspectors ay kinakailangan po upang matukoy ang sanhi at makapagbigay ng solusyon sa problema para siguraduhin hindi na mauulit ito."

Villanueva, principal author and sponsor of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) law, said the construction managers responsible should immediately report to DOLE and cooperate with the inspection.

Under the OSH law or Republic Act No. 11058, DOLE is authorized to visit workplaces to conduct labor inspections, including checks on existing occupational safety and health practices. Should DOLE inspectors determine OSH violations, erring companies may be slapped penalties, including a fine of P100,000 for every day an violation remains unaddressed.

Employers are mandated by the law to maintain a safe working environment for its workers, appointing safety officers to oversee the workplace safety and health programs. Part of their obligation to employees is to keep workplaces free from hazardous conditions, inform and educate workers about the risks that come with their respective jobs, and provide safety gear to mitigate the risks, the lawmaker explained.

Villanueva pointed out that OSH standards should be observed completely, even more with the COVID-19 pandemic heightening workplace safety and health protocols to prevent outbreaks.

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