Philippines in spotlight over workplace safety regulationsMarch 2014
Employers in the Philippines have been urged to observe strictly the country’s work health and safety standards after a report that the annual number of occupational injuries had risen to 20,635.
Almost half the injuries were attributed to machines, equipment, materials and other objects. A little more than a third were caused by stepping on and colliding with workplace objects, mostly in agriculture, forestry, fishing and construction.
Responding to the report, released by the Philippine Statistics Authority for 2011, labour secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said industrial and technological growth had triggered a corresponding increase in the number and types of occupational hazards.
She said her ministry had already consulted stakeholders to update and consolidate construction safety guidelines.
In calling for greater adherence to workplace laws Baldoz insisted: “Accidents can be prevented. And we have to constantly and relentlessly work towards zero accidents in all industries.
“Investing in occupational safety and health does not only mean less risk of accidents. It also enhances the efficiency and viability of the enterprise, through less workdays lost, and thus boils down to the mutual benefit of both the workers and employers, whatever industry they may be in.”
Although Baldoz noted that the 2011 figure of 20,635 showed an increase, the total has fallen by more than half since 2007, the last year for which there are detailed statistics.
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