Safety at Construction Sites

By now, the accident at the Eton building construction site in Makati is old news. But to the families who lost their loved ones as a result of that accident, the news will never go stale.

I hope that this serves as an eyeopener for all who are in the construction business. Wherever you go in this country, you see buildings and houses being built with hardly enough safety precautions in place. To many, it seems that the reminder posted at the entrance of sites saying “No Hard Hat, No Entry” is enough. But it isn’t!

First off, I don’t think construction workers in this country wear protective clothing while they work. I understand the almost thread-bare shirts because the heat could stifle them if they wear anything thicker, but slippers while they work? What about gloves and proper carrying cases for their tools?

There’s usually netting and mesh all around the construction site, and the ABS-CBN News article about the Makati incident mentions an Eton representative saying that there was mesh around the building and that’s where the unfortunate victims fell on. But the mesh and netting isn’t for catching people is it? Those are not meant for the safety of construction workers. Those are meant to catch falling debris. So yes, it’s a safety net. But it’s not for the workers’ safety, but the safety of passersby and adjacent structures.

If there are laws or regulations about construction work then they need to be reviewed, and implementing guidelines need to be formulated and rolled out. The safety of the workers should be ensured. I don’t think they are paid nearly as much as they should be, so the least that can be done is to lessen the risk they take every time they go to work.