Home » Maritime » Hanjin gets violation notice

SUBIC Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has issued a notice of violation of safety standards to Hanjin Heavy Industries Co-Philippines (HHICP) for last month’s dockyard incident which killed two workers and injured four others.

In its findings report, SBMA chair Feliciano Salonga said the company violated five out of 12 safety issues: organization of an effective safety and health committee, provision of company physician, provision of adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment, provision of additional safety signage, and provision of safety officers.

Ecology Center manager Amethay DL. Koval said the notice of violation carried with it corresponding fines and penalties for each violation noted.

“The HHIC-Phil has taken actions to correct some of the 12 safety issues noted during the investigation, but there were five issues for which we had to serve a notice of violation,” she added.

The SBMA action followed an order by SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza to investigate Hanjin shipyard’s safety program and determine whether the company, or any of its subcontractors, were remiss in implementing safety measures on the worksite.

Koval said the investigation conducted by the SBMA Ecology Center’s Occupational Health and Safety Division (OHSD) from January 18 to 25 involved an ocular inspection of the accident site, data gathering and review of documents, interview with Hanjin management and workers, and clarification meetings with safety officers.

Glaring lapses

Among the more glaring lapses found by the SBMA team was the revelation by Hanjin safety officers that not all shipyard workers were issued personal protective equipment.

It said even those without protective equipment were allowed to work, with the HHIC-Phil management simply advising the workers to take extra caution.

The report added the company is still awaiting approval by Hanjin’s parent company in Korea of its request to hire a company physician and a dentist, and to create a safety and health committee, which shall set occupational health standards and implement effective safety measures in the shipyard.

The report also confirmed initial findings that the fire which killed two workers and injured four others was due to leaking oxygen ignited by sparks from a grinding machine.

The fire may have been exacerbated by the presence of lube oil on the flooring of the ship compartment, the report added.

In view of the lapses, Koval said the SBMA has required Hanjin management to fast track approval of its safety and health committee, expedite the hiring of a company physician, hire more safety officers on top of its 28 safety personnel, and implement an emergency contingency plan, among others.

Last week, the SBMA also ordered Hanjin to comply with all occupational health and safety standards as determined by concerned government agencies, including the SBMA.

It asked the Korean shipbuilder to avail only of the services of SBMA-accredited service contractors, and to secure the services of a third-party auditor for safety compliance.

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