Worker killed in Hanjin shipyard mishap

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    SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A worker at the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) was killed on Wednesday after a duct weighing 250 kilograms fell on him as he was unshackling it for painting work.

    Jose Vener Gil, a 42-year old resident of Subic, Zambales, died on the way to the hospital, an accident report submitted by HHIC-Phil to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) showed.

    SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the agency immediately dispatched an investigative team to determine the exact cause of the fatal incident.

    Results of the full investigation are expected to be available within two days, he added.

    Gil, who worked for Philnorkor, a subcontractor of HHIC-Phil, became the second fatality at the Hanjin facility this month, as another worker died at the shipyard on November 20.

    However, Pyeong Jong Yu, deputy managing director of HHIC-Phil, said the November 20 incident “was not in any way related to the shipbuilding operations, as the same was caused by a vehicular accident as a result of human frailty.”

    Yu also said in an accident report sent to Arreza that the company “has launched a full-scale investigation to ascertain whether the unfortunate event was the result of an industrial mishap, unavoidable human error, or simply the negligence of Philnorkor during the construction work.”

    “If investigation reveals that the accident was caused by laxity in the observance of rules and regulations on occupational safety, the immediate superiors and authorities concerned with the implementation of safety policies will be made answerable, regardless of nationality,” Yu promised Arreza.

    “If negligence on the part of Philnorkor is the proximate cause, HHIC shall take all necessary steps to hold the contractor liable in every aspect,” he added.

    Yu also said the HHIC-Phil will conduct a full investigation “to ascertain whether proper and enough measures are taken to ensure prevention of any further accident.”

    He added that whatever the results of the probe, HHIC-Phil will provide “reasonable financial support” to the victim’s family.

    He also gave the assurance that HHIC-Phil and its subcontractors “will exert their best efforts to make the Hanjin shipyard an accident-free workplace.”

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