Closure order slapped on Korean firm

from May 7, 2014 04:00 pm to May 7, 2014 04:00 pm

by Mar T. Supnad

May 7, 2014


Subic, Zambales – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 3 Office has issued a cease and desist order to Finback Corp., subcontractor of Hanjin Heavy Industries. Corporation Philippines (HHIC-Phils).


This followed several incidents, which resulted in the death of some workers inside the Korean-owned ship-building facility here, the latest of which was the burning to death of a worker a few days ago, officials said.


DOLE Regional Director Raymundo Agravante told newsmen: “29-year old Ryan Gacus obtained second degree burn from an explosion of a gas-hose of oxy-ethylene used while he was conducting cutting and fit-up work. He was rushed to the nearest hospital and sadly died hours later.”


Agravante said that based on their investigation “the probable cause of the incident is due to existence of a pinhole at the middle portion of the gas-hose used in cutting works.


“This might have resulted from a set-up or pulling of the hose inside the work area. With such small leak from the pinhole, workers could not detect the gas leak from the tools used.


“In the event that he relocated/re-positioned the tools for a more comfortable condition in finishing the task, the damage portion might have been placed near the victim.


“Thus upon igniting the cutting torch the hose instantly exploded at the victim resulting to burn injuries.”


In a meeting with representatives of HHIC and Finback, DOLE urged them to comply with a number of requirements, before opening again.


Central Luzon-based newsmen noted the Korean firm maintained its “code of silence” policy that often made newsmen face a blank wall on where to get an incident report from Freeport authorities while Hanjin officials imposed a media blackout purportedly to downplay the horrifying incident.


This was also the case of the death of Hanjin worker Bonifacio Palarca, a welder who caught fire when an oxygen gas tank he was using exploded early this year.


Most of the workers here are from nearby Bataan.


Among the safety scheme DOLE wants to implement are the conduct of Basic Safety Awareness Training to 10 percent of the skilled workers of Finback and submission of Employer’s accident-illness report;


Accident/incident report with photos attached; police report; medical abstract; employment record/contract; work methodology/procedure; employee’s profile; employee safety orientation;


Proof of document for acknowledgement receipt of social welfare benefits, and proof of documents for salary payments and remittance to Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG.


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