By Gillian M. Cortez, March 26 2019; Business World

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THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) is requiring all establishments to organize seminars on occupational safety and health (OSH), after the labor department released guidelines for OSH compliance last week.

In Labor Advisory 04-19 dated March 13, the DoLE required establishments to follow OSH-related guidelines after the issuance of Department 198-18 or the Implementing Rules and regulations of the OSH Law released in January. Some of the prescribed orders in line with the advisory require employers companies to conduct OSH seminars.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a statement on Tuesday: “Providing safety seminars and training to workers is an empowering way of building and sustaining a preventative occupational safety and health culture which results in enhanced productivity at workplaces.”

DoLE said in the advisory that all establishments “are encouraged to immediately conduct mandatory Workers’ OSH seminars for all workers/employees at no cost to the workers and attendance at such seminar shall be considered compensable working time.”

“The mandatory Workers’ OSH Seminar may be conducted by the safety officer of the establishment or any DoLE accredited/certified OSH practitioner or consultant,” DoLE added.

Employers may access the Training Module for the OSH Workers’ Seminar at the Bureau of Working Conditions’ (BWC) website,

Section 4(a) of the OSH Law, or Republic Act 11058, states that it is the duty of employers, contractors, and subcontractors to inform their workers about the hazards and risks involved in the occupation entered in and provide appropriate job instruction and orientation regarding OSH.

The OSH Law also states in Section 16 (b) that all workers are required to attend an eight-hour OSH seminar which should include a joint employer-employee orientation on safety and health standards.

The advisory also said that DoLE will assist all establishments with orientations on the OSH Law and assist in creating an Action Plan in case OSH violations are found.

Establishments are also required to send the following OSH reports to DoLE: the Employer’s Work Accident/Injury Report (WAIR); Annual Work Accident/Injury Exposure Data Report (AEDR); the Annual Medical Report (AMR); and OSH Committee Report.

Also laid out in Labor Advisory 04-19 is the responsibility of establishments to determine their risk classification based on the Hazards Identification and Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC). Levels of classification are low-risk, medium risk, or high risk.

“The results of the HIRAC and the number of workers shall be bases for determining the required minimum number of safety officers, OH (occupational health) personnel, medical services and facilities,” DoLE said. — Gillian M. Cortez