SECTION 1. General statement on coverage. — (a) This Rule shall apply to all establishments, workplaces, and other undertakings, including agricultural enterprises, whether operated for profit or not, except to: (1) those engaged in land, sea and air transportation: Provided, That their dry docks, garages, hangars, maintenance and repair shops and offices shall be covered by this Rule and (2) residential places exclusively devoted to dwelling purposes.
(b) Except as otherwise provided herein, all establishments, workplaces and undertakings located in all chartered cities as well as ordinary municipalities shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Employment in respect to the administration and enforcement of safety and health standards.
(c) Chartered cities may be allowed to assume responsibility for technical safety inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment upon compliance with such standards and guidelines as he may promulgate. As used herein, technical safety inspection includes inspection for purposes of safety determination of boilers, pressure vessels, internal combustion engines, elevators (passenger and freight), dumbwaiters, escalators, and electrical installation in all workplaces.
SECTION 2. General occupational health and safety standards. — Every employer covered by this Rule shall keep and maintain his workplace free from work hazards that are causing or likely to cause physical harm to the workers or damages to property. Subject to the approval of the Secretary of Labor and Employment, the Bureau of Working Conditions shall, from time to time, issue guidelines for compliance with general occupational health and safety standards.
SECTION 3. Occupational Health and Safety Code; effectivity of existing standards. — (a) Within six (6) months from the date of effectivity of this Rule, the Bureau of Working Conditions shall prepare and adopt an Occupational Health and Safety Code, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
(b) Until the final adoption and approval of an Occupational Health and Safety Code as provided herein, existing safety orders issued by the Department of Labor and Employment shall remain effective and enforceable and shall apply in full force and effect to all employers covered by this Rule.
SECTION 4. Work condition not covered by standards. — Any specific standards applicable to a condition, practice, means, method, operation or process shall also apply to other similar work situations for which no specific standards have been established.
SECTION 5. Training of personnel in safety and health. — Every employer shall take steps to train a sufficient number of his supervisors or technical personnel in occupational safety and health. An employer may observe the following guidelines in the training of his personnel:
(a) In every non-hazardous establishment or workplace having from fifty (50) to four hundred (400) workers each shift, at least one of the supervisors or technical personnel shall be trained in occupational health and safety and shall be assigned as part-time safety man. Such safety man shall be the secretary of the safety committee.
(b) In every non-hazardous establishment or workplace having over four hundred (400) workers per shift, at least two of its supervisors shall be trained and a full-time safety man shall be provided.
(c) In every hazardous establishment or workplace having from twenty (20) to two hundred (200) workers each shift, at least one of it supervisors or technical man shall be trained who shall work as part-time safety man. He shall be appointed as secretary of the safety committee therein.
(d) In every hazardous establishment or workplace having over two hundred (200) workers each shift, at least two of its supervisors or technical personnel shall be trained and one of them shall be appointed full-time safety man and secretary of the safety committee therein.
(e) The employment of a full-time safety man not be required where the employer enters into a written contract with a qualified consulting organization which shall develop and carry out his safety and health activities; Provided, That the consultant shall conduct plant visits at least four (4) hours a week and is subject to call anytime to conduct accident investigations and is available during scheduled inspections or surveys by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his authorized representatives.
The provisions of this Section shall be made mandatory upon orders of the Secretary of Labor and Employment as soon as he is satisfied that adequate facilities on training in occupational safety and health are available in the Department of Labor and Employment and other public or private entities duly accredited by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
SECTION 6. General duties of workers. — (a) Every worker shall cooperate with the employer in carrying out the provisions of this Rule. He shall report to his supervisors any work hazard that he may discover in his workplace, without prejudice to the right of the worker to report the matter to the Regional Office concerned.
(b) Every worker shall make proper use of all safeguards and safety devices furnished in accordance with the provisions of this Rule for his protection and the protection of others and shall follow all instructions made by the employer in compliance with the provisions of this Rule.
SECTION 7. Duties of other persons. — Any person, including builders or contractors, who visits, builds, innovates or installs devices in establishments or workplaces shall comply with the provisions of this Rule and all regulations issued by the employer in compliance with the provisions of this Rule and other subsequent issuances of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
SECTION 8. Administration and enforcement. — (a) Every employer shall give to the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his duly authorized representative access to its premises and records at any time of the day and night when there is work being undertaken therein for the purpose of determining compliance with the provisions of this Rule.
(b) Every establishment or workplace shall be inspected at least once a year to determine compliance with the provisions of this Rule. Special inspection visits, however, may be authorized by the Regional Office to investigate accidents, conduct surveys requested by the Bureau of Working Conditions, follow-up inspection, recommendations or to conduct investigations or inspections upon request of an employer, worker or a labor union in the establishment.
SECTION 9. Research. — (a) The Bureau of Working Conditions, on the basis of experiments, studies, and any other information available to it, shall develop criteria dealing with toxic materials and other harmful substances and conditions which will establish safe exposure levels for various periods of employment. Such studies and researches may be requested by the Secretary of Labor and Employment through grants, contracts or as priority projects in the programs of nationally recognized research organizations.
(b) The Bureau of Working Conditions shall conduct continuing studies and surveys of workplaces to study new problems in occupational safety and health including those created by new technology as well as the motivational and behavioral factors involved therein. The employer shall provide all the necessary assistance and facilities to carry out these activities.
SECTION 10. Training. — (a) The Bureau of Working Conditions shall conduct continuing programs to increase the competence of occupational health and safety personnel and to keep them informed of the latest trends, practices and technology in accidental prevention.
(b) The Bureau of Working Conditions shall conduct continuing programs of safety personnel in all establishments or workplaces, and for this purpose every employer shall in accordance with Section 7 hereof take such steps as may be necessary for the participation in such programs of at least two of his supervisors or technical personnel for every two hundred (200) workers per shift; Provided, That in establishments with less than two hundred (200) workers, at least one shall be assigned to participate in the training program.
(c) The training may be conducted by the Bureau or any other organization or group of persons accredited by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
(d) Every training program shall include information on the importance and proper use of adequate safety and health equipment, and government policies and programs in occupational health and safety.