DOLE cites 7 measures to avoid another Keppel Shipyard Incident

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The incident site in Keppel’s Subic yard.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recommended seven corrective measures on occupational safety and health which the Keppel Subic Shipyard, Inc. management should implement to avoid the recurrence of the recent mishap in the said shipyard.

Labor and Employment Secretary Ro­salinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said the seven measures by DOLE resulted from the investigation of the Department’s inspec­tion team which was deployed in the ac­cident site.

Baldoz said the long term recommenda­tions of the DOLE inspection team in­cludes accreditation of all safety officers of the company and its subcontractors; employment of at least two full time ac­credited safety practitioners who will be in-charge of implementing the safety program of the company; attending the five day Construction Safety Training conducted by the Occupational Safety and health Center (OSHC) or with accredited safety training organizations; and submission of Annual Health Safety Environment (HSE) action plan which will be approved by DOLE.

Other recommendations include installa­tion of two tower posts of bigger diameter on each side of the stern ramp instead of just one tower post placed in the middle of the ramp; regular checking and calibration of cables prior to any repairs on the ramp; and proper installation and regular inspec­tion by structural engineers of scaffoldings over 10 meters high and all other installa­tions constructed over the scaffoldings.

Baldoz added that the inspection team found several “lapses” in the operations of the ship repair facility.

“There are short and long term recom­mendations which should be undertaken to avoid a possible recurrence of the ac­cident, “Baldoz said, adding that the Keppel Subic Shipyard management voluntarily stopped the operations of the concerned department where the accident happened.

The DOLE inspection team is headed by Undersecretary for Labor Standards and Social Protection Lourdes A. Trasmonte with officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), Bu­reau of Working Condition (BWC), and DOLE Regional Office No. 3 as mem­bers.

Citing a report from the DOLE inspec­tion team, Baldoz said Keppel Shipyard Inc. violated several occupational safety and health (OSH) standards which in­clude inadequate support of the ramp being retrofitted; no design by structural engineer for scaffoldings more than 10 meters high; temporary electrical instal­lation suspended in the tube and coupler scaffolds; no DOLE accredited safety practitioners; and, no first aiders.

On October 7, 2011, an accident oc­curred in the Keppel Subic Shipyard ship repair facility in Subic when the cables of the winches and axles snapped, caus­ing a platform and a supporting tower to topple down. Six shipyard workers died, while two of the eight workers who were injured are still in the intensive care unit because of the accident.

Keppel has provided financial assistance to the families of the victims. The man­agement has also assured employment to the victim’s next of kin.

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