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OSHC-6 provides safety awareness for small bakery workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) - Region 6 conducted a learning session on OSH for a small bakery business at Paloc Sool, Dumangas last May 17, 2022. The event was requested by the Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. (TSKI), which implements community empowerment for poverty alleviation. The collaborative activity aims to build resilient and empowered communities by creating a culture of safety and health both in the community and in the workplace towards productivity and sustainability.

The nine participants were composed of the officers and members of the Paloc Sool Pantawid Association (PSPA) who are managing the small bakery in their community. The members themselves are the bakers and packers of their products.

During the learning session, the participants were able to identify present hazards in their respective workplaces and verbalized their concerns and possible control measures to assure that safety and health will be implemented.

"Sa tanan na negosyo, dapat ma panigurado gid naton na kalidad ang aton na mga produkto kay ga apekto ina sa dagway sang negosyo. Kung makita sang mga suki na limpyo at luas sa aksidente ang ulobrahan at ang ga obra mismo, masaligan gid ang inyo na produkto at damo mabakal," reiterated by OSHC-6 OIC Melveen Melocoton.

In the bakery business, hazards exist that will put the workers at risk for both safety and health-related concerns. Such hazards in bakeries are the following:

  • They work in the heat and, sometimes, at night or other irregular hours. This may cause fatigue, overexertion, and other harmful effects.

  • They handle heavy loads (e.g., flour bags). This may cause back pains and trauma.

  • They work with hot equipment and sharp tools, which may cause such accidents as burns, cuts, etc.

  • They may suffer from allergies (mainly to the respiratory system and of the skin) caused by substances used in their work.

Thus, it was discussed among the participants that the preventive measures to be done shall be the following:

  • Regularly conduct housekeeping activities and install effective exhaust ventilation to prevent the formation of dust (dry flour) clouds.

  • Installing effective exhaust ventilation and air conditioning to prevent air contamination and heat stress.

  • Regularly monitor their ovens for radiation leakage, and repair if needed.

  • Wearing the proper uniform and personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to safety and health hazards.

  • Arranging periodic visits by professional pest exterminators, to control the pest population and special visits in the case of heavy infestation.

  • Learning and using safe lifting and moving techniques for heavy or awkward loads; use mechanical aids to assist in lifting.

  • Maintaining a high level of personal hygiene; shower and change clothes at the end of work.

"Naga pasalamat gid kami sa TSKI at sa OSHC na gin tagaan kami sang mga idea kung paano ma panigurado na wala sa amon ang ma aksidente o masakit para maging mas maayo ang amon na pag-obra sa bakery," said PSPA President Dalia Maravilla.

The PSPA were provided with safety posters and information regarding the safety officer course that can be availed by their association representative so that they'll have a certified safety officer that will oversee the implementation of OSH in their establishment.

The OSHC-Region 6 is open to providing free learning sessions on OSH for requesting establishments that need assistance in the development or enhancement of their safety and health policies and programs in pursuance of RA 11058 and its IRR (DOLE DO 198-18). //MM

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