TAX NOTES

Establishment of DOLE safety and health measures for sedentary workers

TO secure the welfare of workers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No. 184, requiring all employers to establish appropriate control measures to address the safety and health risks of workers who spend long hours sitting at work, such as those involved in computer, administrative, and clerical work, those working in highly mechanized establishments, fields of transportation, toll booths, information technology, and business process management, and all other processes and industries where sedentary work is observed.

These measures include:

Providing workers with regular five-minute breaks every two hours of sitting time;

Encouraging workers to reduce sedentary work by interrupting sitting time and substitute it with standing and walking;

Ensuring that the workstation is designed appropriately for the type of work;

Changing work systems, e.g. providing sit-stand workstations or properly designed workstations that would facilitate easy mobility of workers, and conduct standing meetings;

Redesigning work tasks, if possible, to enable greater variability in movement or posture;

Organizing health-promoting activities that will allow workers to do more physical activities after work, such as calisthenics, dance lessons, and other similar activities;

Raising awareness on the health effects of prolonged sitting and sedentary work; and

Conducting medical surveillance among workers at risk of getting the harmful health effects of prolonged sitting and sedentary work.

Employers may adopt other measures to address the occupational safety and health problems of their workers. The covered establishments must notify DOLE, through the regional office that has jurisdiction over the workplace, of their adoption of the safety and health measures required. The notification may be in the form of an email or a letter, attaching the company’s memo on its adapted policies of the required measures, which will be stamped as received by the DOLE officer. Proper and strict implementation of this order will be inspected and monitored by the DOLE regional offices. The department order takes effect on Nov. 3.

Please be guided accordingly. (Source: P&A Grant Thornton)

 

As published in SunStar Cebu dated 31 October 2017.