Have you recently been visited by one of the representatives from Department of Labor and Employment? Aren’t they much stricter in auditing your business’ compliance to Occupational Safety and Health? 🕵️♂️
Previously, when you remember, they were just checking if you have complete documents in your office. Now, they’re checking if you have sink in your clinic or if you’re providing a lactation corner for your lactating mothers in your office.
Surprised about the changes?
It is because of the implementation of the DO 198-18, the implementing rules and regulation of Republic Act 11058 last 2018 or the Act of Strengthening Compliance of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof. Read the act here.
“The State, in protecting safety and health of the workers, shall promote strict but dynamic, inclusive and gender-sensitive measures in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs related to occupational safety and health.” ⛑
The statement above is the last paragraph of the declaration of policy of the newly signed act. Its main purpose is simply about understanding and compliance of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standard (P.D. 442, Book IV, Title I).
A Quick History of Philippines’ OSH Standard
OSH Standard in the Philippines was formulated in 1978 which enforce mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Standard and update health programs to eliminate and reduce OSH hazards and to ensure safe and healthful working conditions in all workplaces.
However, despite of the formulation of OSH Standards and its importance to the business, still, there are some offices who don’t invest time and resources to OSH. They fail to recognize OSH as a strategic enabler of sustained economic growth.
Finally, Office Healthcare becomes more notable!
Now, the escalating cases of work-related accidents and injuries, communicable and non-communicable diseases prompted the government to implement stricter rules and regulations to businesses in compliance to OSH.
In this law, failure of the business to comply with OSH will cost you big amount of money until violation is corrected. 💰
Their Expectations from you:
Do you have OSH Programs?
• duties and responsibilities of the OSH committee
• general safety and health guidelines in the work place like drug-free workplace policy, HIV, Hepatitis, TB prevention and control workplace policies
• health promotion programs
• Accidents and Medical Records and Reports
• availability of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) and safety signage
• dust control
• waste management
• Emergency Preparedness Plan
• other policies on prohibited acts and penalties for violation.
These approved programs must be readily available to all persons in the workplace.
Do you have OSH Committee?
They are the ones who will effectively plan, develop, oversee and monitor the implementation of the health programs.
This comprises of:
• chairperson of the committee
• safety officer/s
• clinic team (doctors and nurses)
• worker’s representative.
Do you have a Safety Officer?
They are the ones who ensure that a safety and health program is duly followed and enforced.
Do you have Occupational Health Personnel and facilities?
Depending on the number of population of your business, you must provide the standard number of health personnel such as nurses, doctors, dentist and certified first-aiders in your company.
Do you prepare and submit OSH Reports?
Annually, businesses must submit their Annual Medical Report and Annual Work Accident/Illness Exposure Data Report to DOLE. Other prescribed reports must also be kept and, if needed, be submitted to DOLE as well.
Do you have Workers’ Competency Certification?
This is for workers with critical occupations that may compromise his/her own and other’s health and safety.
Do you have adequate workers’ welfare facilities?
This includes a :
• good clinic
• safe drinking water
• safe accommodation (if applicable)
• sanitary, washing and sleeping facilities for men and women
Do you have enough budget for your OSH Programs?
DOLE expects that the total cost of duly approved OSH Programs is an important part of the operations cost of the business.
If you think it’s too much to ask for, just think that Health and Safety of all employees goes hand in hand with the productivity and profitability of the business.
Failure to comply?
Any employer who fails and refuses to comply with OSH standards shall be liable for a maximum of 100,000 pesos administrative fine per day until the violation is corrected.
To the employers and workers, you better understand carefully your duties and responsibilities in ensuring the compliance with OSH in your workplace.
If you have any feedback, ideas or suggestions, we’d love to hear them! 👇