The construction industry, including infrastructure projects and public works in the Cordillera and especially in the City of Baguio and Benguet, is booming. One of the important requirements for the approval of these projects is the Construction Safety and Health Program (CSHP) document guided by the implementing rules and regulations of the Department of Labor and Employment along with the memorandum of agreement with the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The CSHP ensures the protection and welfare of all employed construction workers and the general public that is within or around the site of construction. It also assures safety and harmony among workers and contractors involved in construction or renovation projects. With its approval from DOLE, it helps in preventing worksite accidents and injuries through the project’s implementation of suitable programs, activities, systems and procedures that passed in the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) standards.
The CSHP refers to a set of detailed rules covering the processes and practices that should be used in a specific construction site in conformity with occupational safety and health standards, including the personnel responsible and the penalties for rule violations.
The MOA outlines the responsibilities of the DOLE and the DPWH on the approval of CSHP. Under the MOA, CSHP applications initially approved by the DPWH shall be considered as approved if it was not acted upon on the sixth day following the prescribed process cycle time of five working days from the date of submission of the complete documents. In such case, the DPWH may rely on the CSHP duly approved by the concerned DOLE regional office and the notice posted in its official website.
It states that the DOLE shall provide the DPWH a checklist of requirements for CSHP applications in compliance with DOLE Department Order 13, s. 1998. It shall also strictly observe the five-working day period to concur or deny the initially-approved CSHP applications by DPWH.
The DOLE regional office, on the other hand, shall regularly provide the DPWH with a list of approved CSHP applications, indicating the project name, location and duration, project owner, general contractor, OSH personnel, and contracts for OSH services appropriate for a particular project, when applicable; undertake the necessary assessment of construction project sites as it monitors the execution of CSHP; deploy labor inspectors within 24 hours from receipt of information, the existence of imminent danger or accident which may result to disabling injury; and notify the DPWH of any work stoppage within 48 hours from the issuance of an order.
For its part, the DPWH shall require the winning contractor to submit the CSHP in accordance with Sec. 5 of DOLE DO 13, s. 1998 which provides that every construction project shall have a suitable CSHP; receive CSHP applications which comply with the complete requirements prescribed by the DOLE; and identify and send DPWH regional personnel that shall undergo DOLE orientation on the approval of CSHP.
The CHSP shall also include the provisions and instructions pertaining to the implementation of CSHP in every project bidding documents, specifically under the instruction to bidders; decentralize the approval of the CSHP to DPWH regional directors/district engineers where the project site is located in accordance with DPWH rules and regulations; designate a general construction safety officer who shall oversee the full time/overall implementation of the CSHP of the office concerned; and in case of existence of imminent danger or accident which may result or has resulted to disabling injury, inform the DOLE regional director who has jurisdiction over the project site for the conduct of OSH investigation.
The DOLE-DPWH MOA reinforces Joint Administrative Order 1, s. 2012 issued by the DOLE, DPWH, DTI-Construction Manpower Development Foundation-Philippine Constructors Association Board, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Professional Regulation Commission; and other specific issuances that seek to promote and ensure the safety and health of workers in the construction industry.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has signed DO 198, which details the IRR of Republic Act 11058 or “An act strengthening compliance with occupational safety and health standards and providing penalties for violations thereof.”
The IRR, signed Dec. 7, 2018, took effect last Jan. 25, applies to all establishments, projects and sites, and all other places where work is being undertaken wherein the number of employees, nature of operations, and risk or hazard involved in the business require compliance. It also covers the contractors and subcontractors and those engaged in the projects of the public sector.
To ensure compliance with OSH standards, the workers shall participate in capacity-building activities on safety and health and other OSH-related topics and programs; properly use all safeguards and safety devices; comply with instructions to prevent accidents or imminent danger situations; observe prescribed steps to be taken in cases of emergency, including participation on national or local disaster drills; and report any work hazard that may be discovered in the workplace.
For more information on RA 11058 and DOLE DO 198, s. 2018, visit www.dole.gov.ph or www.oshc.dole.gov.ph.