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. 💰
The Important Points of the DO-198-18
Who are your OSH Personnel?
All covered workplaces must have qualified OSH professionals based on the number of employees of the company.
- First Aider
- Safety Officer
Their qualifications will be based on their prescribed mandatory trainings from DOLE-Accredited Training Centers or its recognized training institutions.
Do you have OSH Committee?
They are the ones who will effectively plan, develop, oversee and monitor the implementation of the health programs.
- Chairperson of the committee
- safety officer/s
- clinic team (doctor and nurse) as members
- workers’ representative
Take note that the organizational chart shall be visible in the vicinity of the workplace.
Do you have OSH Programs?
These programs shall be developed and implemented by the OSH Committee.
- Duties and responsibilities of the OSH Commitee
- General safety and health guidelines in the workplace like drug-free workplace policy, HIV, Hepatitis, TB Prevention and control workplace policies
- Health Promotion programs
- Accident and Medical Repords
- Availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety signage
- Dust Control
- Waste Management
- Emergency Preparedness Plan
- Other policiees on prohibited acts and penalties for violation
These programs must be submitted and considered approved upon stamped-received by concerned DOLE Regional Office. It must be readily available to all persons in the workplace.
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.
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 employees with critical occupations that may compromise his/her own and other’s health and safety.
Do you have adequate workers’ welfare facilities?
All employees must have free access and use of the following welfare facilities :
- good clinic
- safe drinking water
- suitable living accommodation (if applicable)
- separate sanitary, washing, and sleeping quarters for men and women
- lactation station
- ramps and railings
What happens if a company fails 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! 👇