24 February 2015

Hanjin-Subic hosts international work-safety evaluation exercise

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHC-Phil Inc.) recently hosted an occupational safety evaluation exercise conducted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Occupational Safety and Health Network (Asean-Oshnet).

Min Hwan Choi, Hanjin’s deputy general manager for external trade, said in a statement here that the Hanjin management took great pride in hosting an exercise that provided “an opportune time for us to really showcase to the rest of the world that our occupational safety and health programs, including our facilities, are at par with international standards.”

“We are greatly honored that an occupational safety and health-related undertaking with global impact such as this [was] carried out in our Hanjin Subic shipyard,” Choi said.

“I guess there is no better workplace for this activity than our shipyard considering our very complex shipbuilding processes that entail enormous efforts to put in place more responsive safety policies to protect the well-being of our huge work force,” he said.

Senior officials of Hanjin welcomed 45 representatives from the ILO and Asean-Oshnet for the one-day General Workplace Evaluation and Risk Factor Identification Exercise that was held in connection with a three-day Training-of-Trainers (TOT) workshop held in the country from February 10 to 12.

The event was sponsored by the ILO and the Asean-Oshnet in collaboration with the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (Kosha) and the Philippine government, through the Department of Labor and Employment and the Occupational Health and Safety Center.

The participants in the workshop were headed by ILO Country Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson; engineer Ho Siong Hin, commissioner of Safety and Health at Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower; Ingrid Christensen, ILO-Bangkok senior specialist on Occupational Safety and Health; Kim Kyung Hun and Kang Dong Lee of the Kosha; Consuelo Manchon of ILO-Hanoi; Nguyen Thai Hoa of ILO Vietnam; OSHC Executive Director Ma. Teresita Cucueco; and Health Control Division chief Maria Beatriz Villanueva.

The TOT workshop was primarily organized for the Asean-Oshnet member-countries that included Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

In this training, however, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste were given an opportunity to learn from and interact with colleagues of neighboring countries in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH).

The Asean-Oshnet has been actively working to share experiences and knowledge on OSH and to enhance safety and health working conditions among the member-countries. It has also planned and implemented various OSH programs, including training for capability-building of government institutions and their officials.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the conduct of the trainers’ workshop “comes at a most auspicious time, as it will address the need to intensify the advocacy of having a safe and healthy working environment, not only in our respective countries, but in the entire Asean region and now including our Pacific Island partners of Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea, as well.”

She said the Philippines has been one with the Asean in recognizing that partnerships among the member-countries are essential in building competencies and skills in all aspects to enhance and propel the growth of the nations toward becoming first-class economies.

During the welcome ceremony at the Hanjin shipyard, Baldoz also expressed gratitude to Hanjin for allowing both local and foreign stakeholders to conduct the ocular visit and for showcasing the company’s best practices in addressing its safety and health concerns. (Henry EmpeƱo, Business Mirror)

Representatives from the International Labor Organization and the Asean-Oshnet confer with safety officers during a tour of the Hanjin shipyard in Subic Bay Freeport.