07 August 2008

Redondo worker falls to death; subcontractor suspended

Another worker of Hanjin subcontractor Bodahh, Inc. died at the Korean project site in Redondo Peninsula after falling off the roof of a structure.

He was the fourth fatality in the subcontractor's record since last year.

According to initial information from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), 19-year old Arvy Mahinay, a resident of Pasig City, fell off the roof of a shelter under construction after he tried to go after his falling helmet.

The accident occurred at about 4:10 p.m. on Wednesday at Hanjin's Dockyard No. 5.

SBMA investigators said the victim was wearing a safety belt hooked to a lifeline while at work on the roof.

However when his safety helmet accidentally fell off, Mahinay reportedly unhooked his lifeline as he tried to retrieve his helmet.

The victim reportedly slipped and subsequently fell 29 meters to the ground.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the agency is conducting further investigation into the incident, but announced at the same time that SBMA has ordered the suspension of any activity of the subcontractor.

Mahinay's employer, Bodahh manager Suk Ho Kang, was also given 72 hours to show cause why the company's certificate of registration should not be revoked.

Arreza added that SBMA is also studying the permanent cancellation of Bodahh's accreditation in view of its involvement in a number of accidents at the Redondo project site.

Previously, three other workers employed by Bodahh have figured in fatal accidents, including two who also fell off rooftops.

The first victim employed by Bodahh fell off the roof of an assembly shop on February 22 last year; the second, from a 9-meter high structure on March 11, 2008; and the third, in a vehicular accident only last June 11.

The latest incident is the 14th fatal accident to happen at the Hanjin shipyard here, where some 15,000 workers are employed by the South Korean shipbuilder and its subcontractors. (SBMA Corporate Communications)