Sunday, March 16, 2008

Erring SBMA subcontractors face closure

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) yesterday warned subcontractors working at various jobsites in the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. (HHIC-Phil) to adhere strictly to occupational safety requirements or face immediate closure.

The agency issued this stern warning as it probed two recent accidents where three workers hired by two Hanjin subcontractors died at the job site.

The first case involved two sling men who were pinned to death by a toppling 15-ton steel beam on March 10. The other incident involved a worker who fell off the roof the day after.

“We will be going after these companies who show utter disregard for safety,” SBMA officials said yesterday.

According to HHIC-Phil, the first accident occurred when two “sling men” were removing shackles atop a 15-ton beam. When an assisting worker signaled the crane operator to retract the cable, one of the shackles might have caught in one of the brackets beside the lifting lug.

This caused the overhead crane body to topple, the accident report indicated.

The two fatalities and the signalman were employed by subcontractor Globe Distribution Services, while the crane operator worked for Subic Shipbuilder Inc., another subcontractor.

The second case involved a worker who fell off a nine-meter roof after failing to notice that he was at the roof edge.

The worker, employed by subcontractor Bodahhm Inc., was reportedly working backward to mark places where screws had to be bolted on by another worker.

The third fatality was wearing a safety harness, but this was not properly secured, initial investigation showed.

SMBA officials said the ongoing investigation tend to show that some subcontractors and their workers “failed to observe even common-sense safety measures.”

“Every industrial jobsite is a potential safety hazard, that’s why there are clear-cut rules on safety that we require companies to implement strictly,” they said.

They added that HHIC-Phil president Jeong Sup Shim had assured him of Hanjin’s support to the investigation, with the end in view of identifying erring subcontractors and taking appropriate actions against them.
J. V. Antiporda - Journal online

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