WESTERN VISAYAS - Occupational safety and health (OSH) is frequently neglected in micro-enterprises, exposing workers to accidents and illnesses. More so to those who opened stand-alone healthcare facilities or converted their homes into clinics. The issue is a crucial concern in national occupational safety and health policies. As a result, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Labor Advisory No. 20 - Series of 2021, which aimed to guarantee strict occupational safety and health compliance.
According to the advisory, stand-alone healthcare facilities operating independently with less than nine workers must have a designated safety and health officer (SHO) who shall be a graduate of a four-year health-related education with experience in standard of care and universal precautions. Also, the designated SHO must have completed the mandatory OSH training course for safety officer 1 (SO1) and occupational first aid training.
Furthermore, the owner or employer can designate the same SHO to more than one stand-alone healthcare facility for as long as it is within a five-kilometer radius distance. Once the distance is more than five kilometers, the owner or employer shall designate another SHO to oversee the implementation of the OSH program of the facility.
The stand-alone healthcare facilities such as medical and dental clinics, lying-in clinics, optical clinics, and laboratories shall implement the necessary OSH policies and programs in compliance with the RA 11058 and DOLE Department Order 198-18. These include accident and illness prevention programs, medical surveillance programs, HIRAC, and workplace emergency preparedness.
The OSHC Region 6 is open to providing technical assistance for owners or employers to assist in the compliance requirements of this labor advisory. The office will continue to offer virtual safety officer 1 (SO1) training and other information dissemination campaigns to ensure that the advisory will reach out to the general public.