The International Labor Organization (ILO) in its advocacy to promote the Decent Work Agenda describes decent work as “integral efforts to reduce poverty and is a key mechanism for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. Decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, provides security in the workplace and social protection for workers and their families, and gives people the freedom to express their concerns, to organize and to participate in decisions that affect their lives”. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012, Preface)
The statistical measurement framework on decent work as approved by the ILO and as adopted by the Philippines, covers ten (10) substantive elements corresponding to the four (4) strategic pillars of the Decent Work Agenda, namely: (1) employment opportunities; (2) adequate earnings and productive work; (3) decent hours; (4) combining work, family and personal life; (5) work that should be abolished; (6) stability and security of work; (7) equal opportunity and treatment in employment; (8) safe work environment; (9) social security; and, (10) social dialogue, workers’ and employers’ representation. Another component is the economic and social context of decent work that helps determine what constitute decency in society as well as the extent to which the achievement of decent work enhances national economic, social and labor market performance. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012)
This issue of LABSTAT Updates presents statistics pertaining to safe work environment that specifically covers incidence rates of occupational injuries and diseases in establishments; number of days lost incurred by workers due to workplace injuries and diseases; extent of labor inspectorate involved in the enforcement of labor standards in establishments; and number of inspected establishments with violations on general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards.
The statistical tables and metadata used in this article can be downloaded at the OpenSTAT website of the PSA at www.psa.gov.ph.
Policy and legal framework on the need for safe work environment
- Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines was enacted to safeguard the implementation of labor standards among establishments. It grants the Secretary of Labor and Employment and its duly appointed personnel to have visitorial and enforcement powers that guarantees access to employers’ records and premises any time of the day or night whenever work is being undertaken therein.
- To further strengthen the enforcement of labor standards, enacted in 2017 is RA 11058 or an “Act of Strengthening the Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof”, which stipulates that the State shall ensure a safe and healthful workplace for all Filipino workers by providing them full protection against all hazards in their work environment.
- With this strengthened OSH law, a stricter compliance of establishments to general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards in protecting its workers against injury, sickness or health is expected. Otherwise, a corresponding more severe penalty for any violation will likewise be imposed accordingly.
- Specifically, the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) and the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) of the DOLE are mandated by law to formulate programs/interventions against work accidents and illnesses; develop and prescribe adequate labor standards at the workplace; and exercise supervision over the DOLE regional offices in its enforcement activities and administration.
Incidence rate of fatal occupational injuries decline by 2.6 percentage points
- Occupational injury is defined as a result of a work-related event which happened in the course of an individual’s employment activities that may cause personal injury, illness or death. Incidence rate is a measure of safety performance in the workplace used to provide occupational injury statistics at the national level.
- Statistics showed that the incidence rate of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 employed persons in 2015 was recorded at 3.8 percent. This means that there were around 4 cases of occupational injuries with workdays lost per 1,000 workers during the year. In comparison with the 2013 figures, the incidence rate declined by 2.6 percentage points from the 6.4 incidence rate reported in 2013. (Figure 1)
- Among sectors, agricultural establishments posted the highest incidence rate (10.9%) in 2015 followed by industry sector (3.8%) and services sector (3.4), respectively. For both agriculture and industry sectors, fatal incidence rates declined from 2013 to 2015. Agricultural establishments posted the highest decline in the incidence rate of fatal occupational injuries from 48.8 incidence rate in 2013 to 10.9 incidence rate in 2015. The industry sector declined from 6.3 percent in 2013 to 3.8 percent in 2015. On the other hand, fatal incidence rate for the services sector minimally increased to 3.4 percentage points in 2015.
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