D.O. 178 ON SAFETY AND HEALTH MEASURES FOR WORKERS WHO, BY THE NATURE OF THEIR WORK, HAVE TO STAND AT WORKAtty Elvin
D.O. 178 covers employers or establishments to address the occupational health and safety issues and concerns related to the wearing of high heeled female shoes and/or standing at work for long periods or frequent walking, such as strain on the lower limbs, aching muscles, hazardous pressure on hip, knee and ankle joints and sore feet.
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The Secretary of Labor and Employment pursuant to his authority under Article 130 to establish standards that will ensure the safety and health of all employees, as well as his authority under Article 168 of the Labor Code to set and enforce mandatory occupational safety and health standards in all workplaces in order to eliminate health risks, and to ensure safe and healthful working conditions in places of employment, issued the guidelines compliance of all concerned
PURPOSE AND COVERAGE
D.O. 178 shall cover employers or establishments to address the occupational health and safety issues and concerns related to the wearing of high heeled female shoes and/or standing at work for long periods or frequent walking, such as strain on the lower limbs, aching muscles, hazardous pressure on hip, knee and ankle joints and sore feet.
It applies to all workers who, by the nature of their work, have to stand for long periods at work, or are frequently required to walk, such as retail and/or service employees, assembly line workers, teachers, and security personnel.
Pursuant to the State policy to ensure the safety and health of women employees, and as part of the requirement to formulate policies and implement programs aimed at safeguarding the welfare of workers in accordance with Rules 1000 and 1960 of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards and other related issuances, all employers and/or establishments are directed to institute appropriate control measures to address the risks to safety and health of workers while standing at work or frequently walking.
MEASURES TO ADDRESS RISKS TO WORKERS STANDING AT WORK
The DOLE directs employers to institute appropriate control measures which shall include, among others, the following:
- Implement rest periods to break or cut the time spent on standing or walking.
- Install appropriate flooring or mats that will mitigate the impact of frequent walking and prevent fatigue, such as wood or rubber floorings.
- Provide tables or work surfaces with adjustable heights to allow workers to alternately sit and stand while performing their tasks.
- Provide readily accessible seats to be used during rest periods or even during working hours, provided the employees can perform their duties in this position without detriment to efficiency. These can be small foldable stools which can easily be stowed away so as not to hamper the work area.
- Implement the use of footwear which is practical and comfortable. These should not pinch the feet or toes; are well-fitted and non-slipping; provide adequate cushion and support to the arch of the feet; either flat or with low heels that must be wide-based or wedge-type and no higher than one inch.
OTHER MEASURES IN CONSULTATION WITH WORKERS
The employers, in consultation with the workers, may adopt other measures to address the occupational safety and health problems of workers who have to stand at work for long periods or whose functions require them to walk frequently.
REPORTING AND MONITORING
The covered employers or establishments shall notify the Department, through the Regional Office which has jurisdiction over the workplace, of the adoption of the safety and health measures as required herein within thirty (30) days from the effectivity of DO 178.
The DOLE Regional Offices shall inspect and monitor the proper and strict implementation of this Order.