The Labor department has ordered work stopped on the Skyway extension project to give way for an investigation after a person was killed and four others were injured when a steel girder fell into a street in Muntinlupa on Saturday morning.
Department spokesman Rolly Francia says the order covers the entire stretch of the project, or from Susana Heights in Muntinlupa City to Sucat in Paranaque.
“I believe they were not able to assess the situation on the ground. That’s why they were not able to anticipate the hazards that are potentially harmful to our workers,” Francia told reporters.
The department’s occupational safety and health center Executive Director Noel Binag said the project proponents “failed” to identify the hazards in case of a collapse of a steel girder from the portion of the Skyway project.
“They failed to identify the hazards. Obviously, it was not properly controlled. It is always the assumption that every time they start a construction activity, they should have meetings. Every day, they need to identify potential hazards in the workplace to make the necessary assessment and necessary control,” Binag said.
He says the project owner, main contractor and subcontractor are all liable under the occupational safety and health act.
The two labor officials said the work stoppage order, which was issued to the contractor EEI Corp. and its subcontractors initially covered only the site of the accident in Muntinlupa City.
“Both the northbound and southbound areas leading to Susana Heights were named, but the order was revised, extending the work stoppage for the entire project this afternoon,” Francia said.
“They can be sued in court for negligence resulting in homicide. Under DOLE, if they have an administrative case, we can issue them a work stoppage order.”
“A fine of P20,000 to P100,000, depending on their violations, may also be imposed,” Binag said.
San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang issued a personal apology for the incident and promised to help the victims.
The extension project was initially scheduled to be completed by December this year, adding two northbound lanes and three southbound lanes, but because of the incident the completion date will be moved to February next year.