Employers asked: Provide protective gear for workers

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reminded contractors and employers of unskilled workers it was their responsibility to provide personal protective equipment (PPE).

The order means that employers are not allowed by law to require workers such as those in the construction industry to buy protective gear.

This includes hard hats, reflectorized wear, and safety shoes.

Engr. Jennifer B. Talo, Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) Region 11 officer, made the clarification as the agency embarks on a 90-day drafting of implementing rules and regulations of the OSH Law.

Republic Act 11058 or the OSH Law was signed earlier this month by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The law strengthens the compliance of companies to rules protecting employees from hazardous workplace conditions.

Penalties, according to the text of the law, include daily fines of P100,000 for each day of non-compliance.

Speaking to reporters last Friday at the Connect Science, Health, and Wellness Forum at the Food Hall of the SM Lanang Premier, Talo said that the OSHC is required to make the reminder to safety officers that protective gear should not be taken out of the salaries of the employees and should be at the expense of employers.

“The law states that the company should provide a safe and healthy working environment and to ensure that the workplace is safe,” Talo said.

The law even allows employees of the right to refuse to work if the workplace conditions are hazardous.

This includes too much illumination or too much noise in the workplace, such as those in industrial plants, which could damage eyesight and hearing, respectively.

The law also requires companies to allocate eight hours of safety trainings for all incoming employees, among others.

The OSHC is an attached agency of the DOLE.

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