DOLE-12 to check firecracker manufacturers for safety standards

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 Nov) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 has launched a region-wide profiling of establishments that are engaged in the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics or fireworks.

Albert Gutib, DOLE Region 12 director, said Tuesday the move is in line with the work stoppage order issued last week by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III for all concerned establishments in the entire country.

Gutib said they will lift the stoppage order once the manufacturers will pass the inspections concerning occupational health and safety standards.

He said he issued a memorandum to all DOLE-12 field offices and personnel of its technical support and services division to profile and report if there are establishments or companies engaged in such operations within their areas.

“I directed immediate actions on this as the reports will serve as basis for the inspections that will be conducted by our labor laws compliance officers,” the director said. 

The Bureau Fire Protection (BFP)-Region 12 and the Police Regional Office 12 have monitored a number of manufacturers of firecrackers and fireworks, mostly house-based, in parts of the region.

In the previous years, several shopping malls and commercial establishments have displayed and sold firecrackers and fireworks, aside from the registered traders.

Bello issued the work stoppage order in the wake of the series of accidents involving firecrackers and pyrotechnics manufacturers, especially those based in Bulacan, which already killed five people and injured 30 others.

The order is pursuant to Rule 1012.02 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in relation to Article 168 of the Labor Code, as amended, and Rule VIII of Department Order No.131-B.

Bello instructed DOLE regional offices, with technical assistance from the Occupational Safety and Health Center and Bureau of Working Conditions, to assess compliance with occupational safety and health standards and ge­ne­ral labor standards in establishments in coordination with the Philippine National Police, BFP and local government units.

Authorities have not recorded any accident involving manufacturers in Region 12 in recent years but three people were killed in an explosion in a display area at the oval plaza here in December 2009.

Gutib said the inspections will specifically focus on the compliance of manufacturers and other concerned establishments on occupational health and safety standards and other labor-related regulations.

“If they already addressed imminent dangers in their workplaces and have put in place appropriate engineering and administrative controls, then they will be allowed to continue with their operations,” he said.

The official added that the work stoppage order will remain in effect for non-compliant establishments. (MindaNews)