Duterte signs occupational safety law
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Law (OSHB), which mandates strict compliance of employers to workplace safety standards.
Duterte signed the Republic Act 11058 on Agust 17 but this was released to the media only on Monday.
Under the new law, the Labor Secretary is mandated to issue “the appropriate standards of occupational safety and health based on the number of employees, nature of operations, and the risk or hazard involved.”
The law said it “applies to all establishments, projects, sites, including Philippine Economic Zone Authority establishments, and all other places where work is being undertaken in all branches of economic activity, except in the public sector.”
Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday welcomed the signing into law of a measure strengthening employers’ compliance with occupational safety and health standards.
In a statement, Villanueva thanked President Duterte for signing the law which imposes fines for violation of safety standards.
Villanueva, Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development chair, said the passage of the measure after four Congresses is an important milestone and a “resounding victory to all our workers.”
“The OSHS law will prevent workplace injuries or deaths, work-related disorders such as muscoskeletal disorders and occupational lung diseases, and ensure that workplace health and safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Villanueva said.
The occupational safety law lists the rights of workers as well as the duties of employers, workers, and other persons.
The law also requires “all safety and health personnel to undergo training on basic occupational safety and health for safety officers as prescribed by the Department of Labor and Employment.”
A maximum amount of P100,000 will serve as an administrative penalty for the erring employer for every day of non-correction of violation.
This is counted from the date the employer or contractor is notified of the violation or the date the compliance order is duly served on the employer, the law stated.
It added that “the amount of fine imposed shall depend on the frequency or gravity of the violation committed or the damage caused, provided, however, that the maximum amount shall be imposed only when the violation exposes the workers to a risk of death, serious injury or serious illness.”
The new law also provided for the creation of an OSH Committee, which would ensure the enforcement of the safety and health program of the covered workplaces.
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