DOLE probes possible occupational safety lapses in EDC landslide incident
TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is investigating possible occupational safety lapses following the landslide incident at the Energy Development Corporation geothermal complex that killed at least six workers and buried eight others.
DOLE Assistant Regional Director Cyril Ticao said that based on their initial investigation, they found out that sub contractor J.E. Arradaza Construction and Supply has not fully complied occupational safety rules.
“The subcontractor has no approved construction safety and health program, which is one of the basic requirements. They also failed to submit accident report to us after the landslide,” Ticao said in a meeting with DOLE personnel.
During the incident, 45 workers hired by Ormoc-based J.E. Arradaza Construction were at the project site. They had been contracted by First Balfour to supply equipment, labor, materials and other resources to build a pipe shelter to protect the steam pipes from landslides.
Ticao, who led the inspectorate team, recommended for work stoppage in the EDC’s Pad 403 in Upper Mahiao, Barangay Lim-ao in Kananga, Leyte where the landslide occurred.
“We want to complete our assessment as early as possible but there is still imminent danger in the area. We hope to finish our evaluation within this week,” he said.
Ticao disclosed that some workers were stuck by belts designed for their safety, thus preventing their escape from falling debris. “Bodies of some workers were burned as one of the steam pipes burst after it was hit by boulders.”
Of the 45 workers, six were confirmed dead and eight are still missing as of yesterday. At least eight workers were severely injured and 23 were hurt.
“The contractor and J.E. Arradaza committed to shoulder burial and hospitalization expense as well as extend financial assistance to the victim’s families,” Ticao added.
The landslide incident occurred in March 1, 9:50 a.m. Search and rescue operations started after six hours leading to the retrieval of dead bodies of Bonificio Polinio, Edgardo Cabarsi Sr., Belly Abella, Joey Milay and Etchield dela Austria.
On Monday afternoon, the team has retrieved the body Marlon Buanghog. Still missing are Abelardo Permanghel, , Uldarico Taboranza, Salvador Yabana, Jorden Salcedo, Romeo Yazar, Salvador Lascañas Jr., Alfredo Arabis and Danilo Mabatis.
Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director Rey Gozon said that the landslide could have been triggered by incessant rain and mild earthquakes recorded days before the incident.
The Philippine Volcanology and Seismology reported a 2.7 magnitude at 8:40 p.m. of February 27 in Ormoc City. An intensity 2.8 ground shaking was recorded in Kananga town at 11:22 a.m. of February 28, a day before the incident.
“The concentration now is clearing operation to remove fallen trees and boulders to ensure safety of men tasked to conduct the retrieval,” Gozon said. (Sarwell Q. Meniano)
Short URL: http://leytesamardaily.net/?p=39151