16 August 2008

Shipyard Worker Electrocuted

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is set to issue another notice of violation to Hanjin Heavy Industries Inc. (HHIC) for “not enforcing the occupational safety regulations on its sub-contractors” following the death of another worker the other day (August 12, 2008).

The worker, identified as Efren de la Cruz, 23, native of Almasen, Hermosa, Bataan, was accidentally electrocuted while working at the shipyard’s Motor Pool (U-Ditch Area) using a power driven tool, together with four other workers of sub-contractor UT Construction.

Amethya Koval, manager of SBMA Ecology Center, said that initial investigation showed there was rainwater in the ditch about three inches deep.

“There were five of them in the group, however only three of them were wearing company-issued rubber boots,” Koval said.

She said that the jackhammer De la Cruz was using was connected to an extension wire that may have fallen or gotten in contact with the water in the ditch, thus electrocuting the unprotected worker.

The victim was immediately brought to the HHIC clinic for first aid treatment and transferred to the San Marcelino District Hospital for further medical treatment but was declared dead-on-arrival (DOA). The attending physician observed that the patient had “bleeding nose and ears, blackened lips and fingers” – manifestations that occur in electrocution cases.

In her report to SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, Koval recommended the issuance of a Notice of Violation to HHIC Construction, stressing its failure to enforce occupational safety regulations on its sub-contractors and the “lack of supervision by its safety officers on critical working environment.”

“In fact, no job safety analysis was conducted and no Work Permit for that activity was issued,” she said.

Koval also noted that the victim’s employer, UT Construction, a sub-contractor of HHIC Construction, has no SBMA Accreditation and Permit to Operate (PTO), having submitted the accreditation requirements to the SBMA Business Group only on August 7.

“Due to blatant negligence of the contractor to work safety standards, particularly on work environment assessment and provision of appropriate personal protective equipment to its workers, it is recommended that said contractor should not be issued any business permit,” Koval recommended.

Earlier, Arreza has asked Hanjin to terminate the accreditation of three sub-contractors which were found negligent in the implementation of occupational safety standards in the work areas of the shipyard. (SBMA Corporate Communications)