DOLE stops work at Taguig construction site due to accident that killed two workers, injured 14 others

By , on February 5, 2015

Screengrab from DZMM report
Screengrab from DZMM report

MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ordered the stoppage of work at a construction site in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City due to an accident that killed two workers and injured 14 others on Wednesday.

DOLE-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Alex Avila said that their investigators already went to the site and served the Work Stoppage Order.

“Our occupational safety and health investigators had already served our Work Stoppage Order and we have met with the Makati Development Corporation (MDC) safety officer,” he said in a statement.

Avila said that the MDC is the general contractor of The Suites Hotel, which is under construction at the West Super Block Project on 5th Ave. corner 28th St., Taguig City.

He reported that the site has an approved Construction Safety and Health Program that the DOLE approved on Jan. 24, 2015.

Avila, who immediately sent investigators at the scene of the accident, said the scaffolding and the floor slab of the building collapsed.

On the other hand, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz expressed sympathy to the families of the victims and assured them of assistance.

“I condole with the families of the dead and injured workers. I assure them of our assistance. I also assure them we will hold those accountable for the accident answerable for this unnecessary, and totally avoidable, accident,” she said.

At the same time, the DOLE chief reminded building developers, construction companies, and their sub-contractors not to take lightly nor disregard construction safety, but ensure that their workplaces are healthful and safe.

“Safety and health in construction is no trivial matter. It is a matter of life and death. Again, I urge our developers, construction companies, including their contractors and sub-contractors, to seriously mind their workers’ safety by complying strictly with OSH regulations and adhering fully to accepted construction standards,” she added.

Meanwhile, Bureau of Working Condition Director Catherine Legados-Parado reported to Baldoz that initial investigation on the Taguig incident showed the two workers died on the spot when a shoring on the second floor of a building safe on which concrete was being poured collapsed.

Aside from the two fatalities, 14 other workers were injured and brought to the hospital.

“Concrete pouring started at midnight the other night, and continued until 8:30 a.m. yesterday. The workers who got killed were at the bottom of the shoring serving as lookouts,” she said.

Last month, a wall of a warehouse being built in Guiguinto, Bulacan collapsed, claiming the lives of a seven-year-old child, a pregnant woman, and nine workers.

The incident prompted Baldoz to order a halt in all construction activities in the site, and all other construction work of the company elsewhere strictly monitored.

On the other hand, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa) is blaming the DOLE for the collapse of scaffoldings in the construction site.

“Officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Taguig City officials are obviously sleeping on the job. This workplace incident could have been minimized and prevented if they only performed their job, particularly in conducting inspections regularly before and after issuing building and construction permits,” said Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson of TUCP and policy advocacy officer of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU).