“Prevention is better than cure.”

The Department of Labor and Employment recognizes the notion that it is easier to prevent something bad from happening in the first place than it is to repair the damage after it has occurred.

There are variety of methods by which the DOLE has been successful in reaching and encouraging every establishment to comply with safety and health regulations while also taking into consideration the needs of their employees. This includes authorizing standards to be enforced and providing workers and employers alike with relevant education and training in workplace on safety and health through Routine inspection, Joint Monitoring on Covid Compliance, BOSH, COSH and other OSH trainings. The OSH program geared to have employee productivity, retention, and legal protection are all aimed at maximizing total profitability.

“DOLE’s OSH training had a really big impact to our company, even to our managers. The first time that COVID-19 hit, DOLE 9 immediately reached out to establishments. We are able to apply the OSH Safety Protocols in the workplace. Likewise, all that were taught to us during the trainings are applicable to the food industry such as first aid and cooking hazards.

Prior to the trainings, we encountered a series of professional hazards almost every day like burns when grilling chicken. Our workers are also prone to slipping which affects production,” Joemelyn Urbano shared.

Joemelyn is a Group Manager of Mang Inasal Zamboanga (Zamboanga City Food Inasal Corporation), a franchise of Mang Inasal.

She believes that the DOLE’s OSH program and outreach efforts made a significant impact on their lives as food industry workers. Topics are quite beneficial to them and the firm because these types of accidents and risks do occur in their employment.

This year, 27 establishments and their branches responded to the call, and a total of 2,774 people, including workers and employers, received OSH training. This year, we have 38 new Safety Officers. Many employers complied, reducing the number of incidents.

“We already have stock knowledge about OSH but we didn’t have the proper training. We only hear about it and so the OSH standards in our workplace are not full developed or implemented. But when DOLE began tp conduct OSH inspections, we applied the standards at work. This was a crucial step for us managers so that we will be able to relay health and safety concerns to our employers so we can come up with solutions to prevent accidents,” Joemelyn added.

She goes on to say that through the DOLE’s trainings, changes occurred in the company.

“Accidents in the workplace are very commonplace. The problem we had was that even though these accidents were simple, we didn’t know what to do. We’d find out the following day that a personnel was already apprehended due to what happened. But all is well now since we have basic knowledge on how to give first aid to affected workers. We now have a blueprint on what to do and how to keep the workplace accident-free,” she shared.

When Covid struck last year, DOLE and other government agencies aimed to ensure the safety and health of every employee in every workplace, resulting in the Joint Monitoring on Covid Compliance. This accelerated the program’s information dissemination and the implementation of the necessary health and safety protocols. Aside from that, DOLE 9 urged establishments to attend all OSH trainings and, if possible, designate OSH officers in their establishments, whether small or large. DOLE did not abandon its efforts; even when face-to-face meetings were prohibited or discouraged, DOLE took the step of conducting OSH trainings online. The introduction of OSH webinars was a watershed moment in the field.

Ms. Urbano continued:

“We are very thankful to DOLE because they included the module on COVID-19 Prevention and Control in the Workplace during the OSH Trainings. Our knowledge on the subject deepened and we were able to relay this to our employees effectively. We were prepared with the implementation of these protocols the moment our stores opened to the public.”

Learning about her responsibilities as an OSH Officer, Joemelyn ensures that employee’s implementation of protocols is properly monitored. Knowing how contagious COVID-19 is, she never fails to remind her team to strictly follow the protocols such as accomplishing the health trackers, use of alcohol to sanitize every thirty minutes and the use of facemasks all the time.
All these was made possible through their company’s participation in series of webinars that DOLE 9 conducted.

“We really felt the government’s concern for us. Despite restrictions in face-to-face engagements, DOLE was still able to conduct it online for free! We were able to send the whole team through several batches. Thank you so much DOLE for coming up with this type of initiative. We didn’t hesitate to participate since it’s online which means our employees can attend the training while in the store.

She assured DOLE that their company will continue doing their best to adhere to OSH regulations complying to the OSH protocols. She, herself, will makes ensure that it is executed for everyone’s benefit. ###