Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SBMA stops Hanjin

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The South Korean firm Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines (HHIC-Phils.) was ordered to stop operations yesterday after another worker died in an accident in its shipyard over the weekend.

This is the third time that HHIC-Phils. has been issued a cease-and-desist order since the shipping company started operations in 2006.

Ramon Agregado, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) senior deputy administrator for support services, told The STAR “legal and regulatory measures” will be meted out against HHIC-Phils. if it is found to have disregarded health and safety requirements.

“This shall be without prejudice to other sanctions, fines and penalties that may be imposed against HHIC-Phils. Inc. as principal of Subic Han Sung Inc. should the latter be found guilty or remiss of its obligations to fully provide for the safety and health of its workers,” he said.

Agregado said the latest incident raises questions about HHI-Phils.’ compliance with occupational safety and health rules and regulations.

A total of 13 fatal accidents have been reported at HHIC-Phils.’ $1.6-billion shipyard since 2006, he added.

Agregado also directed Subic Han Sung Inc., the HHIC-Phils. subcontractor that employed Benjie Gamolo, the worker who died in the accident, to explain within 48 hours why its registration should not be suspended or revoked.

A seven-day cease-and-desist order was issued against Subic Han Sung.

The two separate orders were sent yesterday to HHIC-Phils. president Jeong Sup Shim and Han Sung president Ryoo Kwon Taek.

On Sunday, the 31-year-old Gamolo was reportedly installing a back girder atop a beam when an eight-foot long, eight-ton steel beam slipped and hit him in the back and left side of the body.

The back girder was reportedly used as a brace for parallel columns.

Gamolo, a structural erector, died from the injuries the next day at the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital in Olongapo City.

Last June 20, the SBMA also ordered HHIC-Phils. to stop operations after a steel formwork collapsed due to strong winds, killing one worker and injuring four others.

Records showed that on Jan. 18 this year, two welders – Mario Lacsamana of Subic, Zambales and Jeremias Adamos of Morong, Bataan – died when a welding machine blew up. Two rigger operators, Eduardo Molina and Niel Mojica, both from Castillejos, Zambales were killed when they were hit by a steel platform while working at the quay wall of HHIC-Phils. on March 10 this year.

On June 15, Oliver Labay, a 32-year-old worker from Olongapo City, died when he was pinned down by a steel plate while fixing another steel plate at Fabrication 23 Bay Assemble Shop of HHI-Phils at Redondo Peninsula on June 15. — With Bebot Sison Jr. By Ric Sapnu - PhilStar

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