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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Safety is Everyone's Responsibility

It's been a couple of days but the accident in Makati where 10 people were killed are still making waves both on TV and radio.

Eton Properties, the glass contractor who employed the killed workers and the safety regualations and standards of both companies are the center of investigation now. I heard someone commented over the radio that charges will be made against those responsible for the accident. I wonder who?

A lot of people will hate me for writing this and might find me insensitive. But as an Industrial Engineer who has a bit of knowledge on Occupational Safety and Standards, this very sad accident could have easily been avoided had people used their good judgement.

It's only but proper to conduct thorough investigation to find out the cause of the accident. But is it not glaring that the very cause of the workers' death was that they didn't follow the safety instructions? The platform or gondola they rode (instead of taking the stairs) from the 32nd floor on their way down to eat their lunch has a capacity to hold only 2 people, 3 at most. But 11 people boarded that thing thereby overloading it.

This is not to say the workers are entirely to blame for their death. Who wants to die that gruesome death, anyway? Safety procedures are meant to be implemented properly (by the company) and followed (by the workers) for it to be effective. But let's face it, we Pinoys are really a stubborn race. We comply better when someone is watching. Take traffic signs for instance; over half of the drivers on the road ignore traffic lights during the wee hours of the morning because there are no traffic enforcers. Heck, pedestrians cross EDSA, even with glaring warning Bawal Tumawid May Namatay Na Dito! Some cities even have to put steel fences just to ward off suicidal-lazy-stupid pedestrians.

I wonder when we will ever change. After a couple of months people will forget the incident and never learn from it. Sooner or later another accident will happen again. Knock on wood. God forbid.

For now we can only pray for the families of those who died and for the construction companies to be more strict in safety procedure compliance. I don't know how. Probably station one watcher every floor just to make sure the workers will follow procedures?

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