AT least 4,700 companies nationwide have registered Covid-19 cases in the workplace, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Wednesday.
In a television interview, Labor Assistant Secretary Teresita S. Cucueco disclosed most of the cases were from the following sectors: service; manufacturing; wholesale and retail; finance and insurance; and construction.
The number of companies with infected personnel, however, may be higher since DOLE noted many employers have yet to submit their work accident and illness report (WAIR), where Covid-19 cases are logged.
Out of the 72,814 companies, which were inspected by labor inspectors from January to September 2, 2021, only 48,000 submitted their WAIR.
Cucueco said the non-submission of WAIR is currently the top deficiency among their inspected establishments even after the department had allowed online submission.
Other top violations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law by companies are the lack of safety officers, as well as the lack of the safety and health committee.
Cucueco said they are trying to boost OSH standards compliance by intensifying their information campaign and also providing technical aid to deficient companies. Fines are, however, imposed to companies, which persistently fail to comply with the requirement.
“Sometimes there are companies, especially the small ones, which have low awareness. So we give them awareness on the rules they would have to comply with, then we inspect them again, they are already compliant,” Cucueco said.
In a related development, Cucueco said they were also able to issue Safety Seals—which guarantee a company is compliant with Covid-19 preventive measures—to 292 establishments nationwide.
She pointed out DOLE is only one of the numerous government agencies, which issue Safety Seals, depending on a particular sector.
DOLE, Cucueco said, is tasked to issue Safety Seals for companies in the manufacturing, construction, utilities, warehouse, and information and communication companies sector.