Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another fatal accident at Hanjin; SBMA chief orders probe

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Monday ordered investigation of another tragedy at the Hanjin shipyard even as it penalized the South Korean firm for safety lapses in a fatal vehicular accident last week.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the agency’s Occupational Health and Safety Office was conducting investigation of the accident that killed Oliver Labay, a 32-year-old worker from Olongapo City, on Sunday.

“We’re staying on top of the situation, and the SBMA would get to the bottom of this recent tragedy,”Arreza said.

“Right after the accident, our investigators have begun their probe. What the SBMA safety office is now doing is getting to the root cause and the factors that may have caused the accident,” he added.

Initial investigation by the SBMA Intelligence and Investigation Office (SBMA-IIO) said Labay was grinding a block bulkhead for a cargo ship at 1:50 a.m. when another bulkhead collapsed from behind, hitting him on the back of his head and pinning him to the concrete floor.

Investigation indicated that the metal stopper keeping the one-ton bulkhead in place gave way. A Hanjin company nurse, who responded to call, said the victim died on the spot.

KC Tech, a Hanjin contractor which employed the victim through its subcontractor Suschicor, has reportedly shouldered the funeral expenses.

Arreza said the SBMA Ecology Center has issued a notice of violation to Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines on Monday after a vehicular accident led to the death of another shipyard worker on Wednesday last week.

The fatality, identified as Rafael Careg of Pasig City, was on a pick-up truck when the vehicle was hit by a Hanjin crane boom truck.

The pickup truck was reduced to a total wreck. Careg was pronounced dead on arrival at the San Marcelino Hospital.

The SBMA had penalized Hanjin.

Arreza said HHIC-Phil Jeong Sup Shim had relayed to him the company’s regrets for the tragedy and said the firm will abide by SBMA requirements on safety procedures at the shipyard.

Arreza also said that the SBMA has made arrangements to establish a safety monitoring office at the Hanjin’s Subic shipyard. The company is now setting up the office for occupancy by health and safety personnel of the SBMA, he added. J.V. Antiporda - Journal online

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