The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office XI became the first DOLE office to be conferred with the Certificate of Registration to ISO 45001:2018 after passing a series of audits and assessments by the Certification International Philippines, Inc. (CIPI) on the office’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) from January to February 2021.
The ISO 45001:2018 developed a standard that enables organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces and encourages organizations to improve its occupational safety and health performance.
As early as September 2020, DOLE started preparing the office’s OHSMS required documents, conducted series of committee meeting, and attended several competency trainings related to the ISO application.
Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo commended the unity of DOLE XI in the office’s pursuit to be ISO 45001:2018 certified. “Our mandate is to protect our workers and promote their welfare. We will make every effort to establish our occupational health and safety objectives and achieve the required standards.”
In a span of six months, DOLE XI was awarded the ISO 45001:2018 through a virtual conferment ceremony on March 30, 2021.
The certification contained this scope of activities: “Provision of Labor and Employment Program Services, specifically services implemented for Employment Facilitation; Employment Preservation and Regulation; and Workers’ Protection and Welfare.” The certificate is valid for three years and subject to satisfactory results of annual surveillance audits. Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, who joined the virtual conferment ceremony, extended its congratulations to DOLE Davao and commended its efforts to be ISO certified. “This certification comes at a very crucial time, that the department is in the frontline in ensuring that workplaces are healthy and safe in the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope that this achievement will inspire other DOLE Regional Offices to be ISO 45001:2018 Certified as well, especially so that we are the government agency mandated to look after the health and safety of all our Filipino workers.”
During this global health crisis, DOLE XI has intensified its safety and health initiatives for its employees to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Among the actions taken are the application of alternative work arrangement, wearing of face shield and face masks, procurement of face masks and sanitizers for all the employees, provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to labor inspectors who are doing field works, development of online systems to minimize face-to-face transactions, utilization of SafeDavao QR for monitoring, posting of COVID-19 related signage to conspicuous places, utilization of the building’s roof deck (open space) to cater clients and limit exposure with employees, disinfection of office every 2 hours, and the facilitation of COVID-19 vaccination.
DOLE XI aims to fervently abide by the international standards set by the ISO in order to deliver a continually improving occupational health and safety performance, at the same time integrating the well-being of its employees It is also the office’s long term vision to integrate its OHSMS and Quality Management System (QMS) to ensure quality of programs and services while maintaining workplace safety.