Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Labor coalition calls for investigation of recent worksite deaths and injuries

The labor coalition Nagkaisa called on the Department of Labor and Employment to investigate several work-related deaths and injuries at workplaces including the recent killing of one and injury for ten at a construction site in Quezon City.

The call was made two days before the celebration of World Day for Decent Work which fall on October 7. 

Work, said Nagkaisa Chair Sonny Matula, is considered decent when it pays a fair income, guarantees a secure employment and safe working conditions, and when workers are free to express their concerns and to organize, among others. 

Police reported yesterday that laborer Francis Tulagan, 45, died while 10 other construction workers sustained injuries when a scaffolding collapsed in their workplace in Quezon City.

Similarly on August 28, it was reported that a steel man, who was working around 70 meters up at the side of one of the posts of the Cebu-Cordova bridge, died after he fell when the plank, he was stepping on gave way. Said worker landed at the foot of the concrete bridge post with broken bones and skull and later died.

On August 22, a construction worker was also injured after he was pinned down from a fallen backhoe that he was operating in a quarry site, in Cebu City.

On July 11, six construction workers were found dead after a wall collapsed in a construction site in Tagaytay City.  Earlier, on July 8, two elevator installers were killed after an elevator from the 38th floor collapsed and fell down to the ground at Burgundy Tower in Makati City. The fatalities were identified as Manuel Linayao and Rey Miguel Gillera.

“One death in the workplace diminishes us all.  The constitutional mandate on "shared responsibility" calls government, employers, and workers to act in order prevent other work-related incidents like what happened in the past months,” said Matula.

Matula explained further that under RA 11058, workers shall enjoy a place of employment free from hazardous conditions. Under this law, employers shall give complete job safety instructions or orientation to all workers; they are also mandated to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

To ensure this, NAGKAISA urges employers and government to enforce the activation of occupational and health committees in all workplaces and allow construction workers organize into unions. 

The group lamented the fact that most of our construction workers are unprotected because they are not unionized hence their hard and dangerous work remains precarious and less compensated. 

Nagkaisa Labor Coalition

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