Frozen food plant violated workplace safety rules – DOLE


ILOILO City – The owner of Akhira’s Frozen Foods and Manokan has decided to close shop following the tragic death of an employee on Saturday. 

According to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional director Cyril Ticao, the business owner, Joselor Jaleco, announced the permanent closure during a hearing at the agency’s regional office here yesterday.

What DOLE Region 6 issued was a work stoppage order but the management itself decided “nga isara na lang nila,” said Ticao.

On June 22 an 18-year-old worker at Akhira’s Frozen Foods and Manokan located in Barangay Mansaya, Lapuz district was “swallowed” by a meat mixing machine (not a meat grinder as previously reported) and died.

“Work stoppage order lang ang amon gin-issue kag kon may imminent danger kay-uhon lang ‘to tani para after ma-correct, i-lift namon ang order,” Ticao explained. 

Six workers of the food factory would be displaced by the closure, said Ticao.

In issuing a work stoppage order, DOLE-6 cited the findings of its inspectors on Akhira’s Frozen Foods and Manokan. These were the following:

* non-registration of the business establishment with DOLE under Rule 1020 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Law

* no safety officer

* no accident report submit to DOLE within 24 hours after employee Joemar Junco of Lauaan, Antique died

* non-provision of safety signs in the work place

For these, Akhira’s Frozen Foods and Manokan also faces an administrative fine of P100,000.

According to Joselito Delabanda, provincial head of DOLE-Iloilo, had there been safety signs at the frozen food factory, Junco would not have dared tinker with the meat mixing machine as his designated job was packing.

Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Law, every employer, contractor, or subcontractor, and any person who manages, control or supervise the work shall:

* the place of employment must be free from hazardous conditions that are causing or are likely to cause death, illness, or physical harm

* provide complete job safety instructions and proper orientation to all workers

* ensure that chemical, physical and biological substances and agents, and ergonomic and psychosocial stresses under their control are without risk to health when the appropriate measures of protection are taken

* use only approved specific industry set of standards of devices and equipment for the workplace as applicable

* comply with occupational safety and health (OSH) including training, medical examination and when necessary, provisions on protective and safety devices such as personal protective equipment and machine guards

* make arrangement for workers and their representatives to participate in the processes of organizing, planning, and implementation, monitoring, evaluation and action for improvement of the OSH management system

* provide, when necessary, for measures identifying trainings and drill, evacuation plans, etc., to deal with emergencies, fires, and accidents including first-aid arrangements

* comply with all reportorial requirements of the OSH standards; and register establishment to DOLE as provided under the OSH standards./PN


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