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Occupational safety and health (OSH), a multidimensional field concerned with safety, health, and welfare of people at work, aims to foster a safe and healthy working environment for everyone.  OSH has been widely regarded and accepted as a basic workers’ right as enshrined in the ILO Constitution, which sets forth the principle that workers should be protected from sickness, disease, and injury arising from their employment.

Cognizant of the significance of OSH in ehancing labor productivity, the ILO has adopted more than 40 standards specifically with OSH, as well as over 40 Codes of Practices.  The ILO standards on OSH provide fundamental principles and essential tools for government, employers and workers to establish such practices and to provide for safety and health at work.  The following three (3) conventions define the fundamental OSH principles:  Convention No. 155 (Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981), Convention 161 (Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985), and Convention No. 187 (Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006).

At the national level, the Philippine government, through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), used the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) as the tool for promoting and maintaining a safe and conducive work environment to ensure that workers are protected against work-related hazards and risks, and usher in the promotion of safe and healthful work environment, and productivity.  The said Standards was formulated in 1978 in compliance with the constitutional mandate to safeguard the workers’ social and economic well-being and their physical health.  Adopted through the tested democratic machinery of tripartism, the 1978 Standards was considered a landmark in the Philippine labor legislation.

In August 1989, through the collaborative efforts of DOLE, ILO and the tripartite sectors, the Standards was amended to provide a better tool for promoting and maintaining a safe and conducive working environment.  The DOLE has issued OSH standards-related guidelines such as: (a) Guidelines Governing OSH in Construction Industry (D.O. No. 13, s. 1998); (b) Revisions on OSH Rule 1190 on Steam Turbine (D.O. No. 71, s. 2004); (c) Amendments to Rule 1162-02 of Rule 1160 on Boiler (D.O. No. 71, s. 2005); (d) Policy Guidelines Governing the OSH of Workers in the Call Center Industry (Department Circular No. 1, s. 2008); and Safety and Health Standards on the Use and Management of Asbestos in the Workplace (D.O. No. 154, s. 2016).

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Title: Gap Analysis Of Key Osh Conventions
: Brenalyn A. Peji