The Department of Labor and Employment has waived the P5,500 training fee on workers for the mandatory occupational health and safety training in workplaces as assistance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises hit by the pandemic.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says the mandatory occupational health and safety training in workplaces will be offered to workers and enterprises for free starting this year.
“We are waiving the training fees being charged to micro and small businesses. The workers in those enterprises have to be assured of their safety and health while at the workplace. This is a big factor to their productivity,” Bello said.
“This is also a form of assistance to our MSMEs being hardest hit by the restrictions due to the pandemic.”
The new policy is meant to enhance workplace health and safety and ease the burden on micro, small and medium businesses amid the impact of the Covid pandemic.
In issuing the directive to the Occupational Safety and Health Center, Bello emphasized the need to ensure the health and safety of the workers and employees to boost productivity as the economy reopens gradually.
The OSH law or Republic Act 11058 makes it mandatory to designate and train safety officers in all business establishments, the number of which corresponds to the number of employees in enterprises. A fee of P5,500 per trainee is fixed by OSHC for the safety training.
In March 2019, the DOLE required establishments to follow OSH-related guidelines after the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the OSH Law released in January of the same year.
In the guidelines, DOLE said “Providing safety seminars and training to workers is an empowering way of building and sustaining a preventative occupational safety and health culture which results in enhanced productivity at workplaces.”
Under the guidelines, all establishments “are encouraged to immediately conduct mandatory workers’ OSH seminars for all workers/employees at no cost to the workers and attendance at such seminars shall be considered compensable working time.”
The OSH Law says it is the duty of employers, contractors and subcontractors to inform their workers about the hazards and risks involved in the occupation entered in and provide appropriate job instruction and orientation regarding OSH.
The OSH Law also says all workers are required to attend an eight-hour OSH seminar, which should include a joint employer-employee orientation on safety and health standards.